Bellator Makes Big Changes Ahead of 2013 Move to Spike TV

Written by Tom Ngo
November 26th, 2012

Bellator Bjorn Rebney

A new year and a new broadcast partnership with Spike TV will bring about new rules for Bellator Fighting Championships. On Monday, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney (Pictured) revealed his up-and-coming mixed martial arts promotion will add a “rematch clause” to all title tilts beginning in 2013.  

“I am proud to announce that driven by your input; we will implement a championship fight rematch clause as we move into 2013 and our launch on Spike in January,” Rebney announced on the promotion’s official website. “When a fighter’s earned a shot at the world title by winning The Toughest Tournament in Sports and competes in a title fight that knocks fans like us back in our seats (win or lose) delivering an incredible fight, when a rematch is called for, we will deliver it.

“Championship fights give us some of the greatest moments in MMA. And, re-matches of incredible championship fights will give fans like us more of those electrifying moments, while staying true to the world’s best fighters having had to earn their way to those title shots.”

Prior to today’s revelation, the only way a Bellator athlete could earn a shot at the throne was by winning a season-long, eight-man tournament. However, the company missed out on a couple of big opportunities by not offering instant sequels on some thrilling championship affairs.

Former lightweight king Eddie Alvarez didn’t get an immediate rematch following his upset loss to now-champ Michael Chandler. Last November’s instant classic earned “Fight of the Year” honors.

Furthermore, Jay Hieron dropped a highly controversial split decision to welterweight champion Ben Askren in October 2011. Instead of reentering 2012’s tourney, Hieron opted to re-sign with the UFC.

Alvarez is reportedly on the brink of joining him inside the Octagon.

Bellator transitions from Viacom’s MTV2 to the bigger and badder Spike TV starting in January.

Don’t forget to follow @5thRound on Twitter, Facebook and Google+!