There have been rumors swirling for quite some time, but now it has become official. Bjorn Rebney, Founder, Chairman and CEO, and Tim Danaher, President & COO, of Bellator MMA are leaving their positions with the promotion effective immediately.
Bellator confirmed the news in a press release on Wednesday morning, but there were no replacements immediately named.
“It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce that I am leaving the company I founded. 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,” Rebney said in the release.
“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.”
There has been some friction between Bellator fighters and Rebney recently, most notably “King Mo” Lawal during the Bellator pay-per-view debut.
Previous rumors have suggested that former Strikeforce leading man Scott Coker could be in the mix for the Bellator gig, but we will have to wait and see if that proves to be true.
If Coker were to come in, you would have to imagine Bellator may do away with the tournament structure that they have been reliant on in the past and recently revamped.