You know that expression ‘the ball is in your court’? Yeah.
Last night at the Bellator 33 post-fight press conference, the topic of Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez in a co-promotional event was presented (once again) to Bellator CEO, Bjorn Rebney. Recently, he stated that there are no obstacles on Bellator’s end of placing Eddie Alvarez in the cage with Gilbert Melendez — and the guy really means it. During the post-fight press conference, Bjorn Rebney said he’s willing to let Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez air on Showtime in San Jose, CA.The guy just relinquished the idea of a co-promotion. Bjorn just wants to see this fight happen. Holy [expletive].
I sincerely wish we can take claim for the idea of creating this Eddie Alvarez vs. Gilbert Melendez concept, but all credits/props/pats on the backs belong to Sergio Non at USA Today. In an interview conducted on May 11th 2010, Bjorn Rebney mentioned that he’s willing to co-promote just to show that Eddie Alvarez can defeat anyone in the world.
“I’m in a very kind of enviable spot in that I’ve got a guy who I think beats anybody in the world right now, so it’s a terrific position to be in. I look at it kind of more with the fan hat on than the promoter’s hat on and say I’d love to see Eddie fight anybody.”
Shortly after the interview was published, Gilbert Melendez called out Eddie Alvarez on Inside MMA. Of course, this inspired us to grab an interview with Bjorn Rebney to get his take on the potential lightweight bout, here’s what he told us.
“Is there any other match-ups you want to make besides Gilbert Melendez vs Eddie Alvarez?I’m really comfortable where we are, I like the tournament and where its going, the qualitative level of the show and where it’s going; this is one of those opportunities as a fan that as soon as I saw Gilbert on Inside MMA and Gilbert called out Eddie, you know Gilbert has the heart of a warrior and he just wants to fight the best of the best he doesn’t care what banner they are under or what show they are on. Eddie called me literally 5 minutes after the show and said “Dude, I would do anything for that fight I would love that fight it would be awesome”. We are talking about 2 of the top 5 lightweights today and I said absolutely. I would love to make that fight, let’s do it. In reality, it really shouldn’t be a fight that is that difficult to make. It’s not one of those situations where you’ve got one fighter who is a major superstar and one is a phenom but an unknown from Brazil. You have 2 fighters who are pretty equivalent in terms of name recognition and pretty equivalent in terms of drawing power and they are closely matched in the world rankings. It’s a great fight. It’s the kind of fight where a guy like me and a guy like Scott Coker can sit down have lunch, have a couple burgers and some diet cokes [diet cokes?!] and figure out how to make it work in relatively short order. A promoter or television network should not get in the way of that fight getting made. I’m hopeful that Scott and I can get together in very short order and figure out how to make it. As a fan I would love to see that fight.”
After the interview was published, MMA Fighting grabbed an official statement from Scott Coker regarding a co-promotional bout between Eddie Alvarez and Gilbert Melendez.
“I said, ‘Look, the situation with Gilbert is he broke his hand in his last fight, so he’s out right now. He’s going to be out, probably until the fall. So this is something we can readdress. We are open to fighting other fighters in other leagues.”
“Doing co-promotions and fighting other fighters from other leagues is never going to be an issue. It just a matter of how do we do it? What’s the deal?”
“We’ll sit down and give it a shot. I would love to see that fight between Eddie and Gilbert.“
The banter between the two promoters is extensive, and if it were not for the two pieces of toast sitting on my kitchen counter that will most likely get consumed by a potpourri of insects if I don’t attend to them immediately, I could go on for hours. Bjorn Rebney is right, there really are no obstacles getting in-between these two. Both fighters want to fight and the entire MMA world wants it. I guess the only thing left to say is: Scott Coker, don’t be scared homie.