At first, Bellator didn’t want Brett Rogers.

He was a former top-10 heavyweight who had fought Fedor Emelianenko and beaten Andrei Arlovski, but he was also sentenced to 60 days in jail last September after pleading guilty to a felony count of third-degree assault following a domestic dispute.

It was the type of baggage that many fight promotions refuse to deal with. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney also refused, but Rogers’ management kept calling.

“His management came at us literally for a two-and-a-half-month period and set the foundation,” Rebney told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “They laid the groundwork and told us everything there was to know about him, about what he’d done, about what he had tried to do in terms of seeking forgiveness from his family, where he was working, how he had stayed out of harm’s way or bad situations, how he was literally getting up every morning at 2 a.m. to deliver papers because he didn’t want to work as a bouncer at a club or do other things that might put him in harm’s way.”

Rebney came around, signing Rogers earlier this month, but picking up the heavyweight was a process.

“It was literally months, and the initial reaction was no interest,” Rebney said. “And then the next reaction was really not interested. And then as his management continued to come at us, what can we do? He’s with his wife. They’ve gone through extensive counseling. He’s with his kids. He loves his family. He is trying desperately to get his life back on track. This is what he can do to make a living.”

As well as Rogers’ management had done their job, Rebney still needed to talk to the fighter.

“I had the opportunity to do that and get kind of an in-depth analysis of the story from him, and from that made a decision,” Rebney said. “Is it the right decision? The future will tell whether or not it’s the right decision. Will he make a mistake again on some front? Again, that’s not something that I can control, but given the totality of the circumstances and the conversations that I had with him and with his management, I did feel that we were willing to give him an opportunity that others were obviously not willing to give him.”

Rogers makes his Bellator debut Friday against Kevin Asplund, who enters the fight with a 15-1 record. A year after his arrest, Rogers is getting another chance and now he’ll have to deliver inside and outside the cage.

“I was raised by folks who talked to me a lot about forgiveness,” Rebney said. “I’m not in any way condoning what he did by any stretch of the imagination, but he seems to be in a place where another opportunity was warranted, and we gave it to him. Let’s see how it plays itself out.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 17:03).

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Diego Sanchez Tops Marcin Held: UFC Mexico City Results | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 4 views

Diego Sanchez welcomed former Bellator MMA lightweight contender Marcin Held to the UFC on Saturday in the UFC Mexico City co-main event by handing him a loss. read news >>

One more try: Kevin Ferguson Jr. chases pro debut again vs. Aaron Hamilton at Bellator 165

  • 27 days ago
  • 10 views

For the third time, Kevin Ferguson Jr. will attempt his professional MMA debut later this month.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator inks 3-time NCAA Division II champ Romero Cotton, who eyes 2017 debut

  • 26 days ago
  • 7 views

Bellator continues to beef up his its roster of amateur-wrestling standouts.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Douglas Lima confident in title at Bellator 164, 'even if there aren't too many people paying attention'

  • 25 days ago
  • 9 views

As he prepares to try to reclaim Bellator’s welterweight title from the very man who took it away, Douglas Lima expects a much different fight than their original encounter: “It will be a hard fight, read news >>

5 reasons to watch Bellator 164 – the promotion's debut in Israel and a welterweight title fight

  • 24 days ago
  • 14 views

Bellator continues to expand to new markets and heads to Israel for Bellator 164. Check out five reasons to watch the card. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator champ Koreshkov not bothered by Lima's injury claims, but says all fighters deal with them

  • 24 days ago
  • 10 views

After losing Bellator’s welterweight belt to Andrey Koreshkov last year, Douglas Lima said that, impaired by injuries, he shouldn’t even have been in the cage that night. But the current champ, it se read news >>

Georgi Karakhanyan Plans Move to Lightweight Following Featherweight Fight in Israel | MMAWeekly.com

  • 24 days ago
  • 3 views

Following his Bellator 164 bout in Israel, Georgi Karakhanyan plans to leave featherweight behind and make the move to lightweight for some pivotal bouts. read news >>

Bellator 164 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Koreshkov vs. Lima 2 Card

  • 24 days ago
  • 37 views

Douglas Lima avenged his 2015 defeat to Andrey Koreshkov on Thursday in Tel Aviv, Israel. The 28-year-old Brazilian knocked Koreshkov out to win the welterweight world title in the main event at Bell read news >>

Bellator 164 results: Douglas Lima drops Andrey Koreshkov to reclaim title

  • 23 days ago
  • 69 views

More than a year after losing his title, Douglas Lima knocked out Andrey Koreshkov to avenge a loss and take back the Bellator welterweight title.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Douglas Lima Recaptures Welterweight Title at Bellator 164 in Israel | MMAWeekly.com

  • 23 days ago
  • 125 views

Bellator's first event in Israel, "Bellator 164: Koreshkov vs. Lima," was capped by Douglas Lima recapturing the welterweight championship. read news >>