Bellator Fighting Championship CEO Bjorn Rebney may not make the same waves across social media sites as UFC president Dana White, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the same hands-on approach as White.
On Thursday, Rebney was forced to cancel the planned Bellator season five heavyweight tournament final between Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos for a second time. However, instead of cutting Santos and moving on, Rebney plans on trying to get the heavyweight the proper nutrition he needs to compete and make the limit for the weight class, as he told MMA Junkie’s John Morgan during a recent interview.
We’re upset, and it is unprofessional. But he’s got unlimited potential. He’s young as can be. He comes from a really poor, really underdeveloped area. He’s not an American wrestler; he doesn’t have any kind of history of cutting weight regularly. Just having talked to the kid and his folks last week, he knows nothing about diet – like an inadequacy of knowledge on diet that was just shocking to me for a professional athlete.
Prindle and Santos were set to conclude the tournament earlier, but the bout was ruled a no-contest after an accidental groin strike to Prindle ended it. Last week, they were slated for the main event of Bellator 61, but the fight was pushed to this week’s Bellator 62 card due to Prindle having flu-like symptoms. Reports, however, have stated that Santos was well-over the limit for heavyweights (265 pounds) last week, as well.
I was looking at him, and he’s a nice kid. He’s kind of a big teddy bear of a guy, but you looked at him, and he was talking about eating things like mashed potatoes. I was like, ‘What? Wait. No. You’re still 20 pounds over. You should be eating grade-A sashimi and some dry broccoli. Why are we talking about mashed potatoes? Really?
Prindle was awarded the tournament title and shot at Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad. Santos, however, is very skilled and could get a look down the road if he can improve his health and stay closer to the heavyweight limit.