Bellator’s fourth season kicks off tonight on MTV2; CEO Bjorn Rebney ready for busy schedule

Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney

Bellator Fighting Championships kicks off its fourth season tonight with Bellator 35 at Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.

The event will feature the first round of season four’s welterweight tournament and will air live on MTV2 tonight starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The tournament bouts for tonight’s card include Lyman Good vs. Chris Lazano, Jay Hieron vs. Anthony Lapsley, Rick Hawn vs. Jim Wallhead and Dan Hornbuckle vs. Brent Weedman.

In addition to the tournament bouts, Bellator’s 115-pound women’s champion Zoila Frausto will take on Karina Hallinan in a non-title bout, and the crowd-pleasing Waachiim Spiritwolf makes his return against Jamie Jara.‘s Susan Cingari spoke with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney this week to talk about the significance of the organization’s move to MTV2:

“We’ll be doing 25 Prime Time Saturday night shows on MTV2 which will reach 80 million homes per show. We’ll have a March, April, May season and then we’ll do one special in June. One special in July and one special in August. Then we’ll kick off Season number 5 starting off Saturday September 10th and that will go twelve straight weeks as well. So, there will not be a 28 day period in 2011 where there is not a live nationally televised event on MTV2.”

The one thing that seems to draw fans and fighters alike to Bellator is the tournament format. The fighters who get title shots are the ones who have earned it. Rebney explained how their philosophy is different from the other MMA organizations out there:

“This season is everything that has made us different. Everything that has made us unique in the MMA organization. And I think those key things are the tournament format. The objectivity where we have a real sport approach to the sport of MMA where the fighters control their destinies and if you win, you move on, and if you lose, you go home. And it’s like basketball, baseball, football and everything else we watch as sport fans. It’s a very different philosophy than the one employed by the UFC, Strikeforce or anybody else.”

With Bellator’s schedule of a show every week, Rebney has a busy season ahead of him. He says there will be a lot of nights on the road, sleeping in hotel rooms while listening to a lot of change going into slot machines over the next few months.

He also says, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Stay close to ( for tonight’s Bellator 35 results as well as each week’s Bellator news and fourth season fight announcements and event results.

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