Bjorn Rebney Weighs In On GSP vs. UFC Drug Testing Policies

This past week, former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre made some (UFC) politically incorrect remarks, when he let loose in a (Montreal) media scrum that the promotion’s lack of support for his (GSP’s) stance on voluntary drug testing, had played a significant role in his decision to vacate his belt and leave the sport.

Today, in a conferenced media call for Bellator’s February 28th 110 card, Rampage Jackson vs. Christian M’Pumbu, BMMA CEO Bjorn Rebney, was asked if he had an opinion on the current rift between GSP and the UFC, regarding the former champs (negative) remarks about the brand’s lack of support for “Rush’s” (pre UFC 167) anti-doping stance.

To it, Rebney affirmed in the positive and subsequently began to sing the praises of Georges St. Pierre, while at the same time haranguing the senior circuit (UFC President Dana White) for their (his) “tasteless comments” regarding the former welterweight champion.

In full comment, Rebney remarked as follows:

“I do have an opinion. The UFC has set the bar pretty high in terms of tasteless comments. The recent comments on Georges St-Pierre are some of the most tasteless comments they’ve made in some time. I look at Georges St-Pierre as one of the most honorable champions our sport has ever seen. I don’t think Georges St-Pierre owes us as fans anything. I don’t think he owes the UFC anything. He’s given us fans and the organization he’s fought for, he’s given everything. We should be thankful we’ve had a guy like that fight in the last ten years. A lot of his points are good points. He’s been a de facto ambassador for our sport and I put a lot of credence and credibility in what he’s been saying.”

Of it, fans are apt to deduce that Rebney is merely seizing upon easy pickings and throwing back some of the mud that the UFC (Dana White) has thrown his way, over the years; all minus any expletives.

However, if fans pick through the detail of his remarks they’ll notice that they’re heavy on flattery and light on substance. Nowhere in his comments does Rebney endorse or call for an implementation of St. Pierre’s stance, nor does he lend any support to it. He simply praises what he knows to be a fan favorite and Canadian icon, while taking some easy jabs at his competitor.

More importantly, Rebney is, for all intents and purposes and by reading between the lines, insinuating that Bellator doesn’t have any performance enhancing drug issues with its fighters. In essence, he’s claiming BMMA’s hands are clean on this subject. To that, many fans might balk. The deduction being, that if it’s a problem in the UFC, then it’s likely to be a problem in Bellator, the WSOF and any other organization that could be mentioned.

Rebney is a very smart man, a great CEO, savvy marketer and knows his MMA. As such, he should be wise enough to appreciate that fans aren’t so naïve as to believe that the UFC is the only promotion that suffers non-sanctioned or illegal PED use, and subsequent to that acknowledgement, he should simply stay away from the issue. That is, of course, unless he’s prepared to have an honest discussion about PED usage within his own promotion. More to the point, most fans would probably suggest that he stay away from the subject until he’s prepared to do something about it.


23 Comments

  1. Avatar of Entity

    Entity

    January 20, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Bjorn, the good bald guy.

  2. Avatar of mindkontrolle

    mindkontrolle

    January 20, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Wow… Why is your "article" (I put that in quotation marks) so riddled with bias? Do you disagree with his stance on GSP's integrity?? — that being the main point here… Brain, when you say "most fans would" do this or do that, it leaves a bad taste on your journalism skills. Just a thought.

    • Avatar of Brian Cox

      Brian Cox

      January 21, 2014 at 2:01 am

      Mind and on a point of order, should you not have put "your" in quotation marks and not article?

      Subsequent to that, one has to wonder as to why you saw need to place, "(I put that in quotation marks)", in parenthesis, directly after you mane note and quote of, the word “article”. The general view of it being, that the simple fact that you had placed "article" in quotation marks (to begin with), removed, from you, any encumbrance of having to immediately stipulate to the fact, thereafter; just sayin’.

      Do you disagree with his stance on GSP's integrity??

      As to whether or not I disagree with Rush’s stance on his own integrity, I’ll have to say yes. I'm sure GSP stance on his own integrity is a positive one. Perhaps you might want to re-phrase the question.

      As to the main point, the main point of this debate is voluntary drug testing; at least as GSP sees in, which appears to be in disconcert with the view of the UFC. As such, this might all be a subjective or point-of-view, issue.

      Regarding your denoting “most fans would”, perhaps you have a point; at least regarding operative words.

      In consideration of that, I should have implemented the precursor of “odds would be that”…"most fans would". As appended, hopefully any and all perceived or insinuated bias(es), might be removed.

      PS: It's Brian, not "Brain."; just sayin'.

    • Avatar of SatelliteMan

      SatelliteMan

      January 21, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Get GSPs nutz out of your throat long enough to read and comprehend what Brian wrote instead of just spewing gsp mancream out of your mouth

  3. Avatar of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    January 21, 2014 at 2:03 am

    Mind and on a point of order, should you not have put "your" in quotation marks, and not article?

    Subsequent to that, one has to wonder as to why you saw the need to place, "(I put that in quotation marks)", in parenthesis, directly after you made note and quote of the word, “article”. The general view of it being, that the simple fact that you had placed "article" in quotation marks (to begin with), removed, from you, any encumbrance of having to immediately stipulate to the fact, thereafter; just sayin’.

    Do you disagree with his stance on GSP's integrity??

    As to whether or not I disagree with Rush’s stance on his own integrity, I’ll have to say yes. I'm sure GSP stance on his own integrity is a positive one. Perhaps you might want to re-phrase the question.

    As to the main point, the main point of this debate is voluntary drug testing; at least as GSP sees in, which appears to be in disconcert with the view of the UFC. As such, this might all be a subjective or point-of-view, issue.

    Regarding your denoting “most fans would”, perhaps you have a point; at least regarding operative words.

    In consideration of that, I should have implemented the precursor of “odds would be that”…"most fans would". As appended, hopefully any and all perceived or insinuated bias(es), might be removed.

    PS: It's Brian, not "Brain."; just sayin'.

  4. Avatar of matt1926

    matt1926

    January 21, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Great article. Bjorn is a yes man and always knows how to say the right thing without any real substance. I couldn't agree with you more Brian. Bjorn was merely seizing an opportunity to throw jabs at the UFC without really addressing the topic. And it's easier for fans to like Bjorn because Dana and the big bad UFC are so hated. At least Dana shoots straight. Bjorn will piss on your leg and try to tell you it's raining.

    • Avatar of movescamp

      movescamp

      January 21, 2014 at 8:00 am

      First off a yes man is a brown noser. Some one who says yes to their bosses stupid ideas without challenging them. So that comment makes no sense. Second Dana White is hands down the most childish, ridiculous, rude, and arrogant public spokesman any corporation has. He may do good work behind the scenes but the fact the guy is allowed to speak in public shows how ignorant the UFC is towards public relations/ image. He makes the BP prick who came out and addressed the public after the spill seem like a saint. Seriously the guy is a douche as a public speaker. I will give home the benefit of the doubt for the legwork he does but Bjorn is light years ahead in terms of actual public speaking skills. Of course he would comment on Dana it's a free market and he is competing for the same service. He said nothing stupid here.

      • Avatar of diamond-mma2

        diamond-mma2

        January 21, 2014 at 10:17 am

        i would have to highly disagree with you, who cares about public speaking, we don't need another politician, someone who rehearses every statement before press scrums and conferences. Most of what Bjorn just said feels like he was just waiting for the chance. I understand Dan can be rude and all be the guy is hands down the realest executive out there no sugar coating anything which is something i like also the fact that he gives hundreds of tickets to fans and once even paid a parking ticket for a girl and lets fans walk in's with the fighters AND put the champs belt on..bro NO other sport executive has ever done anything like that, up close relationship with fans..i rather have a real sometimes rude Dana than a polite public speaker actor. Ive always liked honesty and straight to the point instead of the go around and straight to the sugar coating. ViVA Ronda #TeamReal #TeamFU #WolfTickets #GracieBJJ #Stockton #WhatWhat

        • Avatar of movescamp

          movescamp

          January 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

          First off UFC is a business. Most good public businesses use pr experts. Dana white is a CEO. I can guarantee most investors are weary of having that guy represent their interests. Thats why the sport is full of thugs ripping off fighters. He comes off as a childish thug. You don't have to be a politician but you should act like a grown man. It's different for a fighter to be real they are subcontractors and can be used to sell the fight without having the ceo be a moron. Most if not all investors want a smart man behindthe reigns and dana may be that. He just comes across as a child. I can tell you for sure Dana is holding the UFC back at this point. He wants it to go the sensational entertainment rout instead of a true sport which is great short term and for spikes of profit. If you want a thug for your companies leader that's fine but, it's a terrible business model that eventually implodes.

        • Avatar of movescamp

          movescamp

          January 21, 2014 at 12:30 pm

          Ps tons of sport execs do what Dana white does. The reason he gives away tickets is because they haven't sold those seats. The reason they haven't sold those seats is because Dana white is now over his head and doesn't know how to manage and continue solid growth with a company this big. Eventually the thug approach just won't work and if he doesn't stop the if. Will become boxing or worse pro wrestling.

          • Avatar of diamond-mma2

            diamond-mma2

            January 21, 2014 at 3:13 pm

            Got news for you, UFC is private with only Dubai having a 10% ownership. You cant buy UFC Stocks my friend. The sport is full of thugs and ripping off fighters?…because of Dana F'in White?…really? do you think of anything negative and connect it some how?… blame Dana for the Economy while you're at it. To Who does Dana come across as a child to you?…because to me he comes as a guy thats passionate about the Sport proud of the UFC, honest straight forward to the point and likes to handle his business that same way. Also tell me what execs do it, i couldt find an example unless it was 2 tickets in some radio show contest. Bt you right he does ive away those tickets because they havent sold they are still free and helps spread MMA/UFC by people who other wise miht not be expose to it. And Dana is over his head and doest know how to continue growth?…. what are you saying man? One, i think the UFC has ALOT more people than Dana handling and thinking about growth and how to manage. You really think its that simple, put a show on and walla thousands show up. I live in Florida man, we have some great fihters and camps here and when the UFC comes they dont sell, not because of Dana (lol) but the sport its not at the stage that everyone and their moms watches it. its still a small niche of people Out of all the people i know maybe 10 watch the UFC if its on,5 know most fighters, 3 are exited for the next fights and 2 end watching it and being ******** fans. and honestly when the UFC came, i hardly heard or saw any buzz maybe because it was the Hardley fight but still not every event sells its just how it goes as the sport growths and becomes more mainstream.

          • Avatar of movescamp

            movescamp

            January 21, 2014 at 6:09 pm

            I wasn't referring to the company being "public" and having shareholders. I was referring to having partners that want to invest in the company and pay to use the trademark. I was referring to Dana being the public image of the UFC. Half of this rant of yours has nothing to do with anything. Many sports events give away tickets you can't honestly think Dana thought hat up? I also didn't say Dana is responsible for anything except his job at the UFC. I was saying he is just another thug owner who acts like a tough guy and makes himself seem like an *** to most people who would witness his behavior. The sport is surround by wanna bees and thugs with just enough money to keep fighters begging. It's nice when there is an actual business man with a code of ethics at least when addressing the public. Belator has done a lot in a small time.

          • Avatar of diamond-mma2

            diamond-mma2

            January 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm

            i disagree, having partners that want to invest in the company you say?…you know since UFC has deals with big brands like Nike,Monsters,EA,Budweiser,and Fox that theory of stopping investors from doing business with the UFC goes out the door. Im not ranting, its a simple discussion. I was pointing out the way he gives away free tickets, talk about great PR. So you saying you dont like Dana because of thuggish behavior. Hope he comes out with a rap album name like that.."Dana White, Presents: Thuggish Behavior V.1

          • Avatar of movescamp

            movescamp

            January 21, 2014 at 9:29 pm

            You forgot Harley and xience. How big are those deals? Cause belator has them too, with a much smaller organization that just started up a few years ago.

  5. Avatar of watermelon fresh

    watermelon fresh

    January 21, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Nice words…BUT Rebney takes jabs at UFC whenever he can and he knows it appeases the fans that he sides with GSP and it's smart to talk him up in the event there's a shot at landing him in the future. Hard to know if Rebney really means it.

  6. Avatar of IGMBurninPiff

    IGMBurninPiff

    January 21, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Rebney is always looking to take shots. Its pointless and it makes you look like the jealous little brother. Even when he says the right things and its mostly true all I think is wow he's a jockstrap region rider. Rebney should really focus on his own company who I can't state enough is on the way to losing the number 2 spot to WSOF. Bellator is very close to losing their star LWs in Alvarez and chandler. Leaving them with not much.

  7. Avatar of Metatron

    Metatron

    January 21, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Excellent article, Brian. Strong angle, accurate quotes. Good journalism.

  8. Avatar of watermelon fresh

    watermelon fresh

    January 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    LOL – I keep seeing these posts that say what good journalism the guys on here write…Always seem very sarcastic.

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