Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney Comments on Shuttering Women’s Divisions

August 13, 2013
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Bjorn RebneyThe writing was on the wall when Invicta FC on Tuesday announced it had signed former Bellator fighter Felice Herrig to a multi-fight contract, and then Jessica Eye and Jessica Aguilar, two of the top female fighters around, announced via Twitter that Bellator had released them from their contracts.

With those three powerhouses gone, Bellator was left with zero women on its roster.

The UFC currently has an iron grip on the women’s bantamweight (135-pound) division, ruled by champion Ronda Rousey.

Invicta FC – an all women’s fight promotion – is the go-to home for the rest of women’s MMA, with most of the best women in the world fighting for the fledgling promotion.

That left Bellator with very few options when trying to line up legitimate competitors for the fighters it had under contract. With no suitable opposition, Bellator decided it was best to let its female fighters pursue other opportunities.

“Jessica Eye, Jessica Aguilar and Felice (Herrig) represent all that is good in women’s MMA,” said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney on Tuesday. “Both Eye and Aguilar are ranked No. 1 in the world in their respective divisions and carry themselves with class and distinction elevating the women’s game.

“I’ve said many times that fighters need to fight and fight often.  Given our current focus, we are not in position to provide these very deserving women regular and recurring fights on a large platform.  And, I felt it was best to let them go and secure options that did.

“I genuinely wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors and will be rooting for each of them wherever they fight.”

With Eye currently competing in the flyweight division, and Aguilar fighting at strawweight, it’s highly likely that both will follow Herrig to Invicta FC, where they would have the opportunity to face the top competition their respective division’s have to offer.

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  • BobGyro

    Ufc should follow suit

    • r

      I say they trump them and kill the women.

      • BobGyro

        Sorry Ronda spoiled the whole vaginal fortitude wrestling for me, she is a spoiled little selfish brat typical of most mens ex wives, totaling ruining the ultimate fighter

        Good on ya Bjorn for having some balls ABOUT @#$%ING TIME

    • ice

      Ronda sells tickets and puts asses in the sits no way ufc follows suit. What Bjorn should have said was we are paying two over the hill fighters way to much for there name to headline are first ppv so we can’t pay the girls or are champs what they should get.

    • Manuel Lopez

      Why? The women in UFC put on great performances, it’s a competitive division and the women’s champ is very popular right now and going more mainstream… that gives UFC even more exposure and a promotion that believes in wmma. So why the F&$ck would UFC follow suit? as for Bellator, clearly promoting the women isn’t their current priority so letting go of the women in their roster is the sensible thing to do.

  • Timothy Malone

    Its for the best. Bellator can only fit so many tournaments in its seasons and needs to keep their champions busy.

  • Stefano ‘Zwonimir’ Sega Nogaro

    This is a huge gift for Invicta: Eye is #2 FLW, Jag #1 SW and Herrig #6 SW, plus even Ould, Holland and Keyfets were involved in Bellator, all potential great signs.

    Plus UFC released Sheila Gaff that is a natural FLW … FLW division in Invicta is weak, they need new fighters.