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Bellator's Bjorn Rebney criticizes Dana White over UFC's sponsorship tax: 'That revenue should go to the fighters'

During an interview on AXS TV's "Inside MMA," Bellator MMA CEO Bjorn Rebney spoke about his promotion's stance on sponsorship tax in mixed martial arts (MMA) and how Bellator differs from UFC in that regard.

The topic of sponsors and taxes in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) -- which can reach as high as $100,000 -- has been dominating headlines lately.

Promotion president Dana White has weighed in on where ZUFFA stands in regards to fighters losing sponsors and how difficult that aspect of the business can be (read it), and now Bellator MMA has released its own mission statement.

During an interview with AXS TV's "Inside MMA," CEO Bjorn Rebney gave his stance and quite frankly, if I'm a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter -- perhaps like this former champion -- Bellator just got that much more interesting.

Rebney explains:

"I think we are night and day from the UFC when it comes to those subjects. First and foremost, we have no sponsor tax and we will never have a sponsor tax. Philosophically, I look at sponsors as revenue that should go 100% to the fighters, the promoter shouldn't be taking a piece of that, they shouldn't be taking a commission and shouldn't charging sponsors for the right to pay fighters to step into our cage. In every sponsorship deal that we do, we look to get the fighters in those deals."

If you ask White, the ability to maintain such a stance comes with the comfort of being backed by a company the likes of Viacom, a commodity UFC doesn't have.

With Season 10 of Bellator set to kick off in less than a week, the promotion continues to build momentum heading into the light heavyweight tournament on Spike TV and is quickly going from a company that attempts to emulate its biggest competition, to a viable alternative that's marching to the beat of its own drum.

Rebney wrapped up by teasing a "huge announcement" for Tuesday.

"We have a huge announcement coming up next Tuesday with a major sponsor that everyone knows the name of and we negotiated one of our fighters into that deal."

Alrighty then. will have all the details on that upcoming partnership just as soon as it becomes available.

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