Hold the phone on the Palahres-to-Bellator talk. Bjorn Rebney isn’t interested.
In speaking with TMZ.com, the Bellator CEO told the celebrity gossip outlet that they won’t go after new free agent Rousimar Palhares, following the fighter’s cut from the UFC.
The reason, Rebney said, was the safety of his fighters.
“Risks already exist for the courageous, world-class fighters who enter the Bellator cage without adding further unnecessary risks into the mix,” he said. “Fighter safety is paramount to me and my team.”
Palhares, as many know, was let go from the UFC for repetitious unsportsmanlike conduct. The latest incident came at UFC Fight Night 29, where Palhares held onto a heel hook long after his opponent, Mike Pierce, had tapped to the submission.
Subsequent to the controversy, Palhares was banned from the UFC for life, suspended by the Brazilian athletic commission, and put under heavy scrutiny by an angry MMA public.
Rebney’s comments, while clear, don’t necessarily mean he’s 100 percent set on not signing Palhares. The CEO at one time said that “Rampage” Jackson is a square peg to his round hole of a promotion in Bellator. But guess who’s headlining Rebney’s first time on pay-per-view.
Check with SciFighting.com for updates in the future.