The motto of the Bellator Fighting Championships has long been “Where Title Shots are Earned, Not Given” due to its tournament-based system.
In the past, only tournament winners were eligible to receive a title shot against the champion in each division. The Chicago-based promotion will become slightly more flexible in 2013, however, as Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney announced on Monday that his company will allow championship rematches beginning next year.
“I am proud to announce that driven by your input, we will implement a championship fight rematch clause as we move into 2013 and our launch on Spike in January,” Rebney stated in a letter on the Bellator website. “When a fighter’s earned a shot at the world title by winning the toughest tournament in sports and competes in a title fight that knocks fans like us back in our seats (win or lose) delivering an incredible fight, when a rematch is called for, we will deliver it. Championship fights give us some of the greatest moments in MMA. And, rematches of incredible championship fights will give fans like us more of those electrifying moments, while staying true to the world’s best fighters having had to earn their way to those title shots.”
Bellator has three more events scheduled for 2012 before it transitions to Spike TV next year. The promotion’s next event, Bellator 82, takes place in Mount Pleasant, Mich., on Friday and features a Season 7 welterweight tournament final matchup between Lyman Good and Andrey Koreshkov.