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 Bellator announces departure of executives Bjorn Rebney and Tim Danaher

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PostSubject: Bellator announces departure of executives Bjorn Rebney and Tim Danaher   Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:52 am

http://mmajunkie.com/2014/06/bellator-announces-departure-of-executives-bjorn-rebney-and-tim-danaher

Spike TV today announced that Bellator MMA’s top two executives have parted ways with the company.

Bjorn Rebney, Bellator’s founder, chairman and CEO, as well as company president and COO Tim Danaher, have the left company, effective immediately.

A reason for their departures wasn’t given, though a statement from Rebney mentioned a difference “in our views on the right strategic direction.”

Although recent reports, including one from veteran MMA journalist Josh Gross, have suggested former Strikefoce president and ex-UFC executive Scott Coker could take over Rebney’s position, today’s announcement stated no replacements have been named at this time.

bjorn-rebney-bellator-116“It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce that I am leaving the company I founded,” Rebney stated in today’s release. “I have great pride in having turned my vision into reality, a thriving business with television distribution to over 140 countries around the world, a partnership with one of the world’s largest entertainment giants and wide array of sponsors, partners and strategic allies all over the globe.

“This has been a wonderful eight plus years of creation, development and success. I will miss the courageous, strong and dedicated fighters I have had the pleasure of promoting, and equally, I will miss the incredibly hard working, remarkable team that has become a family for me over the years. Viacom and Tim and I differed in our views of the right strategic direction for Bellator, but Tim and I both wish them well.”

Rebney, a former boxing executive, launched Bellator (then known as Bellator Fighting Championships but later rebranded as Bellator MMA) in April 2009. While initially focused on Latin talent, the organization soon expanded its roster to include worldwide talent while promoting its tournament-based format.

Following a series of mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies from other fight promotions around the globe, Bellator became the de facto No. 2 MMA organization behind the industry-leading UFC. In 2013, USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie named Rebney the seventh most powerful person in MMA.

With Rebney and Danaher at the helm, the company moved from ESPN Deportes to MTV2 after striking a deal with Viacom in late 2010. The media giant ultimately bought a controlling interest in the fight company in October 2011, and events then moved to Spike TV after the cable channel’s previous deal with the UFC ended.

muhammed-lawal-quinton-jackson-bjorn-rebneyThe company’s headquarters then moved from Chicago to Newport Beach, Calif., and executives expanded its presence on the West Coast. Additionally, a series of international TV deals gave the organization a global footprint.

To date, Bellator has hosted 121 event, including its pay-per-view debut with Bellator 120 this past month.

While the organization has developed many top prospects, in the past few years, Bellator shifted much of its focus to signing big-show vets, including the likes of Tito Ortiz, Quinton Jackson and Muhammed Lawal.

Currently, 76 percent of the fighters in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA Power Rankings are signed to the UFC, and 12 percent are on the Bellator roster.

“I feel very privileged and honored to have been one of the guiding forces for developing Bellator into the largest MMA tournament based organization in the world,” Danaher stated. “I’ve made tremendous life-long friends and feel blessed to have worked with such talented and dedicated people.”

Spike TV President Kevin Kay offered his appreciation to both executives in a prepared statement.

“I would like to thank Bjorn and Tim on behalf of Spike and Viacom for their dedication and hard work building Bellator from the ground up,” Kay said. “They worked tirelessly in getting Bellator to where it is today. They were great partners to work with and we wish them all the best.”

The executives’ replacements are expected to be announced in the coming days.
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PostSubject: Re: Bellator announces departure of executives Bjorn Rebney and Tim Danaher   Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:38 pm

That sucks.

Viacom fired the guy who put up multiple mortgages on his home to get BFC running and made it an interesting and successful promotion to the point that they ran 120 exciting shows with top fighters from around the world because of a difference in vision?? A difference of vision on the same day that Viacom is reported to be trying really hard to get Kimbo Slice?:??? Are you fucking kidding me? Viacom is going to do to BFC what Time-Warner did to WCW. Were getting more Baroni, more Parasian, more Sokodju with Rebney out of their picture. This is the beginning of the end for BFC. I like Coker but his hands are going to be more tied here then they were with SF, destined to fail for him.


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captain organic wrote:
tolivendiewithLA wrote:
Are u fucking serious with this post bro? ur a newbie to MMA compared to me, I watch all fights, but don't get a hard on unless guys are in the top 30.

Uh, Are u fucking serious with this post bro?



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PostSubject: Re: Bellator announces departure of executives Bjorn Rebney and Tim Danaher   Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:09 pm

Yeah I can't believe they fired him.
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PostSubject: Re: Bellator announces departure of executives Bjorn Rebney and Tim Danaher   Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:53 pm

To me, the headlines tell a story:

Rebney and Viacom don't share the same vision
and
Bellator wants to get Kimbo Slice

Conjecture sure, bt it makes sense.


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captain organic wrote:
tolivendiewithLA wrote:
Are u fucking serious with this post bro? ur a newbie to MMA compared to me, I watch all fights, but don't get a hard on unless guys are in the top 30.

Uh, Are u fucking serious with this post bro?



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PostSubject: Re: Bellator announces departure of executives Bjorn Rebney and Tim Danaher   Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:36 pm

Scott Coker is the new boss and they are getting rid of the tournaments.
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PostSubject: Re: Bellator announces departure of executives Bjorn Rebney and Tim Danaher   Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:58 pm

Well that sucks! Thats what I liked about Bellator. Whatever happened to Coker being employed by Zuffa after the Strikeforce buyout?
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PostSubject: Re: Bellator announces departure of executives Bjorn Rebney and Tim Danaher   Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:53 am

acccardinal12 wrote:
Well that sucks! Thats what I liked about Bellator. Whatever happened to Coker being employed by Zuffa after the Strikeforce buyout?

He fulfilled his contract with Zuffa, the non compete clause ended in March.

It's no surprise Rebney is gone, he has been on the outs with Viacom for a while now. There were articles months ago saying he was done there it was just a matter of time.

My guess is Coker is being brought in to use his contacts and skill to maximize the value of Bellator and then Viacom will sell it to the UFC.

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