Describing Bellator's recently announced deal with MTV2 as a "perfect alliance," company CEO Bjorn Rebney
hailed the union as a proper evolutionary step for the young promotion.
Speaking on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour
, Rebney said that the new deal with the national cable platform positively addressed most of the issues and problems that plagued Bellator's recent deal with FSN.
Most notably, its events would be broadcast live around the country, at a consistent start time.
"There are no preemptions, there are no delays," he told host Ariel Helwani. "It was problematic for me as the CEO of the company. It was problematic for fans who wanted to watch over the last two seasons."
Rebney said MTV2 was a perfect landing spot for Bellator due to the cable network's young demographics, a trait the channel shares with MMA's demos.
"It reaches the young male demographic more effectively than basically any cable network in the country right now," he said. "So from a demographic perspective in terms of MMA fans, and from a continuity perspective [airing] same time, same place, same channel, it's just a magical fit, to say nothing of the fact that MTV is one of the best known brands on the face of the earth. To have a partnership with MTV2 is ideal for us."
Contract talks surrounding the deal took about five months from beginning to completion.
The three-year contract will feature 25 events in 2011, and 26 each in 2012 and 2013.
Each season will have 11 live events as well as one "Road to the Championship" recap show that will air in the week prior to the beginning of tournament championship matches. In between seasons, Bellator will air special events, ensuring that the promotion does not go more than 30 days without airing a live event.
"Throughout the year, we will be consistently programmed as regularly as any of the other top two MMA promoters in the country," he said, referring to the UFC and Strikeforce.
The upcoming season will begin airing in March, with tournaments in the light-heavyweight, welterweight, lightweight and featherweight classes.
While there will be no women's tournaments in season four, Rebney said he's interested in putting together a rematch of season three's championship match, a bout in which Zoila Frausto earned a controversial split-decision win over previously unbeaten Megumi Fujii.
Such a fight, however, would be a non-title match.
"That's where the philosophy that we've got has to run true, and you have to stay true to it," he said. "Zoila won and Megumi didn't, so if Megumi is going to earn a shot again at that title, we've got to do a tournament, and she's going to have to win it."
Meanwhile, Rebney touched on the shrinking possibilities of a lightweight superfight between Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez and Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez, saying he'd still like to do it, but perhaps Bellator "pursued it even more aggressively than we should have."
"I think Eddie wins the fight so I'd love to make it happen, and three people wanted to make it happen and one didn't, but I respect that," he said. "If I was in Scott's position, I probably wouldn't want to make it happen, either."
Finally, regarding ongoing litigation between Bellator and the UFC over recent Ultimate Fighter season 12 winner Jonathan Brookins, Rebney said nothing is close to being resolved, but he does not foresee blocking Brookins from continuing his UFC career.
"That's a legal question in terms of what our lawyers may or may not try to do, but part and parcel of the philosophy I've employed is that fighters should fight," he said. "If promoters have a conflict or argument, ultimately, typically the best-case scenario 99 out of 100 times is that the fighters get to fight and the promoters battle it out and whoever prevails in the argument gets compensation from the other one."