Bellator MMA CEO Bjorn Rebney, COO Tim Danaher Leave Positions with Promotion

Hunter HomistekCorrespondent IJune 18, 2014

Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Images

According to a press release sent to Bleacher Report, Bellator MMA founder, chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney and president and COO Tim Danaher have left their positions with the promotion.

The press release said that the announcement is "effective immediately" and that no replacements have been named at this time. 

“It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce that I am leaving the company I founded," Rebney said in the press release. "This has been a wonderful eight plus years of creation, development and success."

While it is not immediately clear what exactly prompted the major shakeup in the promotion, Rebney hinted at some tension between himself and media conglomerate Viacom, which owns Spike TV.

"Viacom and Tim and I differed in our views of the right strategic direction for Bellator, but Tim and I both wish them well," Rebney said. 

This news comes on the heels of some rumors that former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker would replace Rebney with Bellator. With the official announcement that Rebney and Danaher are gone, these rumors now look to be true, and, according to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani, an official announcement regarding Coker's new position is expected later today. 

Bellator's first event sans Rebney, Bellator 122, will take place July 25 at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. 

The card will feature a middleweight tournament final matchup between Brett Cooper and Brandon Halsey, as well as a welterweight tournament final pitting knockout artist Andrey Koreshkov against Adam McDonough. 

A feature fight between former UFC competitors Phil Baroni and Karo Parisyan will also take place at the event. 

Stay tuned to Bleacher Report as the situation develops and replacements for Rebney and Danaher are officially announced.