Bjorn Rebney and Bellator MMA have parted ways over eight years since he founded the promotion. VIACOM became the parent company after purchasing majority shares in 2011 and it is said that “creative differences” are what lead to Rebney’s departure. COO Tim Danaher has the left company.
Bjorn Rebney released a statement wishing Bellator success in the future:
“It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce that I am leaving the company I founded. I have great pride in having turned my vision into reality, a thriving business with television distribution to over 140 countries around the world, a partnership with one of the world’s largest entertainment giants and wide array of sponsors, partners and strategic allies all over the globe.
“This has been a wonderful eight plus years of creation, development and success. I will miss the courageous, strong and dedicated fighters I have had the pleasure of promoting, and equally, I will miss the incredibly hard working, remarkable team that has become a family for me over the years. Viacom and Tim and I differed in our views of the right strategic direction for Bellator, but Tim and I both wish them well.”
(statement via MMAJunkie)
A rumour is also going around that former Strikeforce owner and UFC executive Scott Coker is being eyed as a replacement for Bjorn but nothing has been announced from VIACOM as of yet.