If you’re Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, you really do have every reason in the world to be smiling a big ol’ grin right about now.
Your upstart MMA promotion—which most experts predicted would be dead within a year—is continuing forward into year four of operations.
Among a veritable graveyard of MMA promotions that have tried to co-exist with the UFC, Bellator is the only one Dana White hasn’t added to his tombstone yet. You have survived some shaky TV deals (to say the least) to finally land in the loving arms of Viacom. You have survived constant rumors of imminent financial doom. You have survived some downright scary live gate numbers.
And, like that old Sinatra song, you did it your way—and brought tournaments back into the discussion in “mainstream” MMA.
So congratulations to you. Unfortunately, Bellator still has a few things on its plate to deal with. It might not be 99 problems, but there are still some serious obstacles facing the not-so-upstart promotion.
Here, in no particular order, are the five biggest problems that have Rebney reaching for the Advil (and the Jack Daniels to wash it down), starting with…