Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney recently answered a few questions regarding his former Middleweight champion Hector Lombard, who has of course signed with the UFC. However they are not the kind of bitter or resentful comments you may expect from a man whose champion just left his promotion Rebney actually praised Lombard for what he did while fighting in Bellator, and understood that him going to fight in the UFC was always a distinct possibility. Rebney has a high outlook for Lombard in the UFC Octagon, stating the following:
“I think he’s the best middleweight in the world. I think that in very short order we will see Hector Lombard win the UFC title at 185 pounds on pay-per-view. I wish the guy nothing but the greatest success. He was great for us. There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be great for the UFC.” - via Sherdog.com
Rebney shows the utmost professionalism in dealing with this situation, apparently realizing as a businessman that he cannot compete with the Ultimate Fighting Championship financially at this point. A part of this is high streams of pay-per-view revenue, something that Bellator does not have right now, and also something that may have been offered to Lombard by the UFC. On that subject Rebney spoke out:
“That’s not part of our business dynamic right now. It’s not part of our format. It may be in the future, but it isn’t today. Part of the reason Bellator’s the number two player in the mixed martial arts space worldwide right now is that we’ve made decisions based on business principles. We’ve made decisions based on hard, fast numbers and objective data that we can take a look at as opposed to what a lot of people who’ve tried to come into our space have done, which is kind of throw mud at the wall and hope against hope that that proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow will fall into their lap.”
Rebney may be quite business savvy and primed for success in the competitive MMA arena. However, will his lofty expectations of Hector Lombard prove true? Who will be the man to finally take the crown from long-time Middleweight king Anderson Silva?