Viacom-Owned Bellator MMA Parts Ways With Founder, Chair & CEO Bjorn Rebney
Officials from Spike TV, whose parent company Viacom bought a majority stake in Bellator in '11, yesterday confirmed that the MMA outfit has “parted ways” with Founder, Chair & CEO BJORN REBNEY, “effective immediately,” according to Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com. Bellator “also parted ways” with President & COO TIM DANAHER who is being replaced by former Strikeforce CEO SCOTT COKER. Rebney said that the spilt was “caused by differences in ‘strategic direction.’” Rebney, along with investors, “founded Bellator MMA” in ‘08. Danaher said, "Viacom, Tim and I differed in our views of the right strategic direction for Bellator. I feel very privileged and honored to have been one of the guiding forces for developing Bellator into the largest MMA tournament-based organization in the world." Coker brings “more than 25 years of experience in promoting combat sports” to Bellator. He founded Strikeforce in ’85 and sold the MMA outfit to UFC in '11 (ESPN.com, 6/18).