Rear Naked Choke Radio hosts Joe Rizzo and Jeremy Fullerton were cageside on the MMA DieHards Radio Network prior to Bellator 39 on Saturday and were joined with Bellator CEO and President Bjorn Rebney along with well-known fighter agent, Monte Cox.
Cox was the first guest on the show and after talking about the long list of fighters contracted to him, the superstar agent informed the MMA DieHards Radio Network that Bellator has recently signed former UFC and IFL welterweight Rory Markham.
“Rory Markham is coming back,” Cox announced to Rizzo and Fullerton on the show. “He just got done filming ‘Fast and Furious 5′ where he beat the tar out of Paul Walker, and then Vin Diesel beats him up. He does a lot of movies, he just did a big movie in Chicago with Bruce Willis (and) he’s doing really well in the movies, but he’s coming back to fight. I think that’s either May or June he’s going to fight for Bellator, and you know he’s always fun to watch.”
After Zuffa’s buyout of arguably the No. 2 promotion in the world in Strikeforce, the MMA world was turned upside down, but Rebney, like UFC president Dana White, is conducting business as usual.
“We are going to keep on doing exactly what we’re doing and were going to keep building the brand and keep on putting on great shows,” said Rebney. “We’re going to stay true to the objective tournament format.”
Bellator has been doing better ratings when its replayed shows are aired after the live broadcasts, but Rebney has a good theory on why that is happening.
“Amazing fights begin to happen at the beginning of a show and I start texting my buddy Dave, and my buddy Rob and go, ‘Dude you got to check this out,’ ” Rebney explained. “Suddenly, people turn to it (and) we see the numbers climb at the end of the show, and then when the replay runs everybody goes, ‘Well, I want to see what happened at the beginning,’ because they are hearing what a cool show it is. It’s a matter of information getting disseminated so fast that you can affect the ratings of a show in a 45 minute period.”
Rebney seems like he is going to conduct his business as usual and Bellator will keep to being a steady competitor with the UFC, only with a tournament format — and Rory Markham.