Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney and Spike executives were pleased with the promotion's debut on Spike TV last night which featured Lightweight champ Michael Chandler demolishing Rick Hawn, Babalu Sobral getting upset by Mikhail Zayats and a 5 round war between Featherweight champ Pat Curran and Patricio Freire.
"There are no deep breaths,' Rebney said. "We've gotten another one coming up this week. We've got [Karl] Amoussou-[Ben] Askren, which is a much different fight going into it than you saw here. It's got a much different feel to it going in .. I'm focused right now literally on next week.
"There's so much that goes into each one of these shows," Rebney continued. "It's not happening literally three or four weeks from now. It's next week. I will be on site in two days. ... I'll review the show tomorrow then it's on to the next show."
Gate and attendance figures weren't immediately available for the event, which was held on the campus of Cal-Irvine in a building set up to hold about 4,000 fans. The building crew was seen removing tarp from seats in the corner of the arena during the show in order to accommodate fans.
"We just literally, we've been talking about Bellator for almost the last four years," (Bellator CEO Bjorn) Rebney said. "In a general perspective, this was our first introduction to the general market. This was the first time live in prime time on Spike. So, this is a building process, it's a marathon, we're not running a sprint. We'll do the numbers we do, and hopefully we're looking for people to have tuned in tonight and say "we watched two hours of fights tonight, they were great fights, we're going to tune in again next week and tell our friends" and more people will watch. That's the progression we're looking for. Whatever the number is, we'll look to grow it and make it bigger."
"Bjorn calculated this," Jon Slusser, the vice president of sports for Spike said. "As you know, the thing about this world is you can plan the greatest event, you never know, every promotion, you never know if it would be a great card, that's just what happens. We had great fights tonight, we had the luck of the MMA gods
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney also sat with the assembled press for an additional interview: