Bellator’s Summer Series is fast approaching with the first card set for June 19 at Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla.

Ahead of the event, CEO Bjorn Rebney joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on May 1 to discuss Muhammed Lawal, Chael Sonnen’s title shot against Jon Jones and more.

On “King Mo” Lawal, who suffered an upset loss to Emanuel Newton in February and is returning June 19 against Seth Petruzelli: “I think he’ll rebound well. Look, Seth has got a pretty long and storied history of knocking off guys who he wasn’t supposed to knock off in big fights. Mo is a tall order and Mo has been back training since about 24 hours after the spinning back fist loss to Emanuel. I know Mo’s 100-percent focused. I know Mo’s working on every conceivable part of his game. I know he’s just been studying tape like a wild dog and he’s been training like his life depends on it, which it does. This is a huge, important fight for King Mo, and equally it’s a huge, important fight for Seth. … I think Mo is going to be as prepared for this fight as we have ever seen him prepared for any fight in the MMA space. He recognizes the significance. He wasn’t supposed to lose in that tournament, and that spinning back fist from Emanuel and Emanuel’s prep won that fight.”

On both Lawal and Renato “Babalu” Sobral losing in the light heavyweight tournament last season: “If you look at that last tournament, everybody had Mo pegged to fight Babalu in the final. That’s the way the brackets were setup was Mo was going to fight Babalu. Welcome to the world of Mikhail Zayats and Emanuel Newton. Suddenly you had a final between two guys nobody had ever heard of but can fight at a wicked level at 205. So both of these guys have got a huge amount to prove. Both of these guys never anticipated that they were going to get bounced out of that tournament when they did.”

On whether Lawal took Newton lightly: “I just think he got caught right on the button with a spinning back fist that nobody saw coming. I don’t think Emanuel planned to throw it until he turned and saw the opening. I just think he got caught. Look, it can happen to anybody, but do I think we’ll see it again anytime soon? No, I don’t. I don’t think he was ill prepared. He was in incredible shape. … I just think he got caught by a really good, really talented fighter.”

On Lawal-Babalu not happening after they weren’t matched against each other immediately and both lost: “You know what it breeds, it breeds honesty. It breeds real sports competition. It breeds legitimate sports competition. Yeah, you could have very easily just stepped up and gone, ‘You know what, we’ll make Babalu versus Mo.’ Last weekend we saw a fight that was exactly like that [Jones vs. Sonnen at UFC 159]. You just make the fight for the sake of the fact that there’s recognizable names and one of the guys has got the ability to create a lot of media [attention], but you come off two losses back to back at 185 and then you get a shot at the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world at a weight class 20 pounds north of 185? I don’t understand the logic in that, and we saw the result. That doesn’t make sense to me. It makes sense to me in the WWE, but it doesn’t make sense to me from a real sport perspective.”

On Sonnen vs. Jones: “Chael Sonnen gets a shot at the title against Jon Jones because of what he could say, not how he could fight. It’s a different situation. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that situation. I don’t fault it. I don’t look at it and go, ‘Whoa, there’s just something inherently wrong and bad about matchmaking and about the way that formula works.’ But it is not sports competition … the way that we understand it in every other sport that we watch. It’s a sports entertainment vehicle. I happen to think that there’s a lot of space and a lot of fan excitement, a lot of fan interest in a different alternative that more closely resembles what real sports is all about.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:33:11).

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Matt Mitrione Gets Medical Clearance for Bellator 158: London

  • 27 days ago
  • 23 views

Matt Mitrione has cleared medical testing and will now face “Britain’s Strongest Man” winner Oli Thompson during the main card of Bellator 158: London. read news >>

Joanna Jedrzejczyk: ‘I Want To Be the First Champion of the 125-Pound Division’

  • 26 days ago
  • 60 views

UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk expects to change weight classes following her rematch with Claudia Gadelha on July 8. read news >>

Injury to Linton Vassell Causes Bellator 158 Main Card Shift

  • 23 days ago
  • 11 views

An injury to Linton Vassell has derailed his summer plans of competing in front of his fellow Englishmen against Francis Carmont at Bellator 158: London. read news >>

Brock Lesnar Doesn’t Seem Too Impressed by His Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt (UFC 200 Video)

  • 21 days ago
  • 16 views

Brock Lesnar just received a blue belt in jiu-jitsu and doesn't seem that impressed by himself or belts in general. read news >>

James Gallagher Predicts a Finish of Mike Cutting at Bellator 158

  • 15 days ago
  • 7 views

James Gallagher predicts that he'll finish Mike Cutting in their Bellator MMA 158 featherweight bout on July 16 at O2 Arena in London. read news >>

Michael Page Looking To ‘Leave a Mark’ at Bellator 158 in London

  • 15 days ago
  • 28 views

Undefeated Bellator MMA welterweight contender Michael "Venom" Page puts his unbeaten streak on the line at Bellator 158 against Evangelista Santos in London. read news >>

Bellator 158: Daley vs. Lima Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

  • 14 days ago
  • 32 views

Bellator MMA takes London on Saturday from The O2 Arena. A crucial welterweight bout tops the Bellator 158 card as Paul Daley takes on Douglas Lima. The 170-pound division will again be on the displa read news >>

Bellator 158: Daley vs. Lima Fight Card, TV Info, Predictions and More

  • 14 days ago
  • 18 views

Bellator MMA takes London on Saturday from The O2 Arena. A crucial welterweight bout tops the Bellator 158 card as Paul Daley takes on Douglas Lima. The 170-pound division will again be on the displa read news >>

Paul Daley on Bellator 158 Douglas Lima Bout: ‘I Have to Knock Him Out’

  • 14 days ago
  • 12 views

Paul "Semtex" Daley faces Douglas Lima in the Bellator 158 main event at the O2 Arena on London on July 16 an plans to score a knockout. read news >>

WSOF Signs UFC and Bellator Veteran Paul Bradley

  • 14 days ago
  • 6 views

World Series of Fighting announced on Thursday that it has signed UFC and Bellator veteran Paul Bradley. read news >>