ProMMAnow.com reporter and 2004 Olympian Dr. Rhadi Ferguson sat down with Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney to discuss a topic close to the good doctor’s heart, judo, and the welterweight bout between Karo Parisyan and Rick Hawn set to go down Thursday at Bellator 95 in Atlantic City.
A former top UFC welterweight, Parisyan has had his battles with painkillers and anxiety outside the cage, problems that have cost him his job in the past and which could feasibly cause him to be seen as a liability for a promoter.
Rebney explained why Bellator was willing to take that risk:
“We do a lot of due diligence before we dive into pools. … We did a lot of checking, we did a lot of talking. We talked to him, we talked to his management. We really wanted to kind of do a deep dive into where he was because he has had well-documented issues. He’ll be the first one to talk about them. And we were comfortable enough with where he was that we felt it was a good investment of time, energy and money to put that fight together.”
Rebney also discussed the IOC’s decision to remove wrestling from the Olympic Games and the impact that could have on MMA. And finally, the Bellator front man shared his excitement about the promotion’s transition to Spike TV as their first full season with their new broadcast partner comes to a close this Thursday.