Dana White: 'I Don't See Bellator as Competition Whatsoever'

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Dana White: 'I Don't See Bellator as Competition Whatsoever'
Esther Lin/MMAFighting
Dana White

Bellator is finally making moves in the pay-per-view market, but the Viacom-backed MMA promotion isn’t even close to contending with the UFC, according to Dana White.

The UFC president recently spoke with MMAFighting.com about comments made by Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney to the Latin Post. In his interview, Rebney accused Zuffa’s “horrible” relationship with unions as being one of the primary reasons MMA is still illegal in the state of New York.

In response, White claimed Rebney was merely “screaming for attention” by saying a lot of “stupid s--t”:

It’s one of those things. Those guys, I don't care about those guys. I don’t see them as competition whatsoever. I see that Bjork [Bjorn Rebney] has been saying a lot of stupid s--t lately, he’s in the press. He’s screaming for attention.

Talking about New York and the union and he’s going to... what the f--k has he done to do anything in New York? What has that guy done to raise the bar in mixed martial arts whatsoever? He’s done nothing. He’s done completely zero. Zilch.

So good luck to him on their pay-per-view.

On Saturday night, Bellator will attempt its second venture in the pay-per-view business. The promotion’s first crack came in late 2013 at Bellator 106, where former UFC champs Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson were expected to headline.

However, the event was moved to free TV just eight days out after Ortiz pulled out of the fight, citing a neck injury.

A similar disaster nearly followed for Saturday’s fight card. The main event, a highly anticipated lightweight title rubber match between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, was scrapped a week out from the event after Alvarez suffered a concussion in training.

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Fortunately for Bellator, there is still the light heavyweight grudge match between Jackson and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal to lean on. The promotion has decided to keep the pay-per-view intact by promoting the co-main event bout as the new headliner.

Meanwhile, Chandler will now fight Bellator MMA: Season Nine lightweight tournament winner Will Brooks.

White knows a thing or two about the pay-per-view business, and he believes the loss of Alvarez vs. Chandler was a major dagger in an already mediocre fight card. In fact, White claims the lightweight title fight was the only legit bout on the card altogether.

“That was the legit fight on the card. It’s tough. It’s tough losing that,” said White.


Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.

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