Bellator MMA founder Bjorn Rebney sold the company to Viacom, and was ultimately replaced with the popular Scott Coker. Rebney was, to put it gently, not popular. He then spent two years putting together a new group seeking to organize UFC fighters, the MMAAA. The MMAAA debuted with a media call that included Rebney, Georges St-Pierre, Tim Kennedy, T.J. Dillashaw, Cain Velasquez, and Donald Cerrone.
UFC president Dana White was repeatedly asked to comment and said he bore no ill-will towards the fighters, and that they were free to pursue their goals. However, like virtually every knowledgeable figure in the sport, he was incredulous about the inclusion of Rebney. White was also taken aback by the appearance of Donald Cerrone, who he felt should have called him first. Cowboy conceded that that was true, and also was also clear that the league needs better health care and some form of pension.
White, in turn, conceded that UFC fighter healthcare was not the best, and said the retirement issue would best be accomplished by saving. He said Cerrone would make $1,300,000 from fighting this year, and estimated he would make another $300,000-$500,000 from sponsorships. White suggested Cerrone live off the sponsorships for a few years, bank the fight income for a years, and thus solve the retirement issue.
During a recent appearance on The MMA Insiders podcast, Rebney was asked by host Jason Floyd if he thought some of White’s comments constituted bullying. Rebney was played a clip from a recent episode of UFC Unfiltered. In it White expresses disappointment that Cerrone never called him first, given their long relationship which at one point included White spending $100,000 of his own money getting Cowboy out of a legal jam.
Rebney responded angrily.
“When the UFC, Jason, got sold to WME-IMG… Dana White walked away with roughly four hundred million dollars,” he said. “Every year prior to that he was making in excess of 20 million dollars a year.
“I can say it again – when the UFC sold to WME-IMG Dana White who just belittled Cowboy Cerrone and talked crap about a valiant warrior who has fought in the cage innumerable times and who fans love, made close to four hundred million dollars. That man, that gluttonous pig. And he got twenty million a year, on average before that to run the UFC. And he’s got the cojones to step up and to belittle Cowboy? How many fights did Dana have? How many times did Dana step into the cage in the WEC and in the UFC? But he made close to four hundred million dollars when the organization was sold. Please. Are you kidding me?”