Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney may not be as well known as his counterpart, UFC president Dana White, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t working just as hard.
Rebney, who has helped build Bellator from the ground up, was recently interviewed for an upcoming issue of Fortune magazine. Part of the interview was published recently on CNN’s Money website.
Bellator will move to Spike TV beginning in January, as the MMA promotion continues to build a solid fan base. Currently, Bellator is available on MTV2, another Viacom-owned network. Rebney recently discussed the upcoming move in an interview with Fighters.com.
Rebney, a former Ohio University football player who attended law school, took a leap when he began the early process of creating Bellator. He left a job with the sports-law group Steinberg Moorad and Dunn, where he was working with former boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya.
“I was never a boxing guy,” Rebney said. “As soon as that bell rings, the fighters are shaking hands. They’ve got black eyes, they’re busted up, bruised everywhere, and yet they’re laughing together after the fight (in terms of MMA). I think they’re the most heroic athletes on the face of the earth.”
Rebney was asked about making the move to MMA promoter, and said, “I have a very thick skin, but time after time, I’d make a pitch and could tell that is was going nowhere. I kept at it.”
The complete story will appear in the December 3 issue of Fortune.