Bellator is looking to establish itself as one of the world’s premiere MMA organizations, and they’ve subsequently unveiled a new plan that will make sure title fights happen more regularly. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney is calling it the “tournament champion replacement clause,” and it will come into effect when tournament winners aren’t available to take a crack at the title.
Rebney stated that, “I don’t expect this situation to occur very often, but when it does – in those unexpected (‘worst case scenario’) circumstances – we owe it to our champions to have a fair format in place to ensure that our champion doesn’t have to wait for his world title defense when that occurs.”
To determine which fighters are in line for the title in the event that a tournament winner isn’t available, Bellator will use a combination of “points” and voting that will gauge how well a fighter did in the most recent two tournaments.
For every decision victory, a fighter gets one point. A KO/TKO/submission win in the third round will net two points. A second round finish will be three points, while a first round one will be four.
From here, the top three scores in that weight class will make up the pool of possible contenders for the belt. Bellator executives may also include a fourth fighter on this list if they feel it is fitting.
From this list, three different groups will vote on who deserves the title shot, with each group holding 33% voting power overall. These three groups are the current Bellator world champions (including the champion in the contested division), current Bellator tournament winners, and the Bellator executives such as Rebney and President Tim Danaher.
This round of voting will determine who gets the title shot.
“By employing this new format adjustment to our existing tournament structure, Bellator will be able to determine new title challengers in the event of a catastrophic injury situation while still remaining true to its core belief that politics should not play a role in determining who fights for a world title,” Rebney said. “This formula will also allow Bellator to gain input from some of the most credible pundits around: the fighters themselves.”
The next Bellator event will be a PPV show featuring Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs Tito Ortiz on Saturday, November 2 in Long Beach.