Two weeks ago, World Series of Fighting (WSOF) exec Ali Abdel-Aziz laid down the gauntlet as he challenged Bellator MMA to put up or shut up in a "winner take all" pay-per-view (PPV) war that would pit each respective mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's best fighters against one another (details here).
To see who is the rightful owner of the No. 2 spot behind Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
During yesterday's (Jan. 20, 2014) Bellator 110 conference call, Bjorn Rebney shot down the challenge, saying he has more important things to take care of and can't be worrying about "call outs."
"Look, and I understand the media likes to talk about this stuff and have fun with it, but the light heavyweight tournament announced today is the most competitive we've ever done. We're bringing a 100-percent healthy Rampage Jackson into a tournament. We're in 140 countries around the world and growing. We announced the FOX alliance, giving us the biggest distribution in Latin America when it comes to MMA. We've got the biggest distribution in the Middle East when it comes to MMA. We're on Spike TV, who wrote the book on distribution of MMA. I'm focused on our business. I'm not focused on call outs."
But that's to be expected from a "candy ass" like Rebney, according to Abdel-Aziz, who blasted the Bellator boss for hiding behind the recent headlines involving Georges St. Pierre's falling out with UFC (read them here).
Bjorn Rebney turned down our challenge. He doesn't believe in his fighters and now he wants to distract everyone talking about GSP. CANDYASS— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) January 21, 2014
For now, Rebney and Co. will focus on their upcoming light heavyweight tournament, which kicks off on Feb. 28, 2014 as Quinton Jackson battles Christian M'Pumbu and Muhammad "King Mo" Lawal takes on Mikhail Zayats in the opening round.
It's a shame, too, because Bellator's "Rampage" and WSOF's Tyrone Spong -- the two men who would have potentially headlined the massive event -- have already started the pre-fight trash talk, as evidenced by their recent back-and-forth Twitter war.