Bellator Open to Signing Former Strikeforce Fighters, but Don’t Expect a Massive List


Since its inception, Bellator Fighting Championships has been a promotion that prided itself on building talent from within the organization and not picking up the scraps leftover from the UFC.

Now that’s not to say that Bellator hasn’t signed fighters after being released from the UFC – Ben Saunders, Paul Daley, and Maiquel Falcao are just a few of the former fighters that competed in the Octagon and received their walking papers before Bellator snatched them up.

But with Strikeforce on life support and only days remaining until a list of fighters becomes available after the inevitable happens and they are released when the promotion is no more, will Bellator swoop in to sign a huge lot of them?

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney says that has never been his company’s business plan and he doesn’t think it will change just because Strikeforce is gone, but if talent is there and it’s worthwhile, he would be open to exploring the option.

“One of my focuses when I built up the business plan was to build from within, to create our own superstars and to not be like the EliteXCs and the IFL’ and the Bodogs and the Afflictions and all of these different groups who tried to grab the fighters that had been released by the UFC and ultimately try to re-ignite a fire that had once existed under those guys. I think that’s one of the things that set us apart,” Rebney told MMAWeekly Radio.

Rebney believes building up champions like they’ve done with fighters such as Michael Chandler, Pat Curran and Ben Askren is key to a promotion separating themselves from the competition.

Still, it can’t be ignored that if a truly talented fighter is available, Bellator would be remiss if they didn’t jump at the chance to sign somebody like they did after former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal was released from the promotion earlier this year.

“That’s going to stay our focus, but look at King Mo Lawal, when a guy like that becomes available and we are able to get into a bidding war and ultimately win on a guy like King Mo, and do a deal like we did with Dixie Carter (from TNA wrestling), that’s a no brainer,” said Rebney.

He also pointed to former UFC and Strikeforce contender Renato “Babalu” Sobral as a sterling example of a fighter too good to pass up on just because he had already fought in those other promotions.

The possibility remains open for Bellator to sign some of the fighters left over after Strikeforce officially shutters its doors in about 48 hours, but don’t expect a mass exodus of fighters to compete there on Saturday and find a new home with Bellator on Sunday.

“The door is open to it, but there’s never like a lock in on it and say ‘hey, we’re going to do that for sure.’ You look at it on a case by case basis, you see where a guy fits in and if he’s got the right fit for the organization, and if so there aren’t any handcuffs on us doing something like that. You could see it,” Rebney stated.

“As Strikeforce disbands, as a lot of us have known and thought was going to happen for a long time, we’ll see what happens and we’ll see who’s available.”

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all the latest Bellator MMA news and updates.

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

Related News

  • 25 days ago
  • 5 views

Look who's joining the family! Invicta Fighting Championships (Invicta FC) will make its Fight Pass debut this weekend (Sat., Sept. 6, 2014) with a stacked line up from inside Municipal Auditorium in read news >>

  • 10 days ago
  • 6 views

A half dozen fighters may be fighting to avoid a pink slip this weekend, including Amir Sadollah and Yoshihiro Akiyama, who'll be squaring off in probably the most high-risk fight of the evening. Lik read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 7 views

Read on for the results from Invicta Fighting Championships 8... read news >>

  • 7 days ago
  • 4 views

Invicta Fighting Championships announced today the full fight card for its next event. Invicta FC 9: Honchak vs. Hashi will stream live on UFC Fight Pass from read news >>

  • 20 days ago
  • 307 views

Sean O’Haire, a former mixed martial artist best known for his exploits in World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment, died on Monday at his home in Spartanburg, S.C. He was read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 66 views

Invicta Fighting Championships president Shannon Knapp revealed that Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino is on schedule to make her 135lb. debut in December. Although many were skeptical about Cristiane ‘Cybo read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 2 views

Stephan Bonnar discusses signing with Bellator and his upcoming fight against Tito Ortiz. read news >>

  • 2 hours ago
  • 0 views

Former World Series of Fighting featherweight champion Georgi Karakhanyan has signed a new, multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA. read news >>

  • 12 days ago
  • 8 views

Melvin Manhoef sees Bellator as his opportunity to open the door to American fans. He intends to make a splash in Friday's headliner, then shoot for a championship. read news >>