In an open letter on the Bellator site, CEO Bjorn Rebney finally addressed a situation that has long plagued the promotion: the lack of championship title rematches:
“As a team, how can we make Bellator better, more exciting and entertaining?” And, the best way to answer that question is to listen to you. So, at every event we do, and at restaurants, airports, through social media, at gyms, etc. – I listen to what you think and what you want to see. Your input legitimately influences what we do. I never forget that if it were not for you, MMA fans, and our incredibly talented fighters, Bellator would have been nothing more than an idea in my head.
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. 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, re-matches 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.
It is rumored that this clause is being instituted, possibly retroactively, so as to allow current Bellator Lightweight champion Michael Chandler to face former champion Eddie Alvarez, who is in contract negotiations.