Bellator Fighting Championships CEO Bjorn Rebney was on Bloody Elbow Radio on Thursday and spoke on the promotion's signing of former Sengoku featherweight champion Marlon Sandro. While there has been much speculation on whether or not Sandro will go right into a title fight with Joe Warren, Rebney said Sandro isn't going to get special treatment.
"Sandro's going to have to go through the same gauntlet everybody goes through to get a shot at our title," Rebney said. "Nobody's handed a shot at a world title in Bellator. I don't sit back and make the conscious decision, 'Hey, we signed one of the greatest featherweights in the world, now let's match him up and give him a free ride to the world title.' He'll have to beat three guys. He'll have to compete in the tournament and if he's able to get through world-class featherweights, he'll earn the right to fight Joe Warren.
Rebney said he wants Sandro, the No. 5 featherweight in the world in the USA Today/SB Nation Consensus Rankings, to debut "as quickly as possible" but expects to see him inside the Bellator cage no later than June.
Warren is coming off a knockout win over Joe Soto at Bellator 27 in September while Sandro is coming off a decision loss to Hatsu Hikoi at SRC: Soul of Fight in December where he dropped his SRC featherweight title.