Bjorn Rebney: Making Chandler-Brooks for the interim title was a logical choice

Following an injury that pulled lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez from defending his title against Michael Chandler at Bellator 120, it was announced that Chandler would face Will Brooks for the interim title on the card.

Jason Floyd - The MMA Report
Jason Floyd – The MMA Report

After the announcement was made, some began to question how this fight was a title fight due to the title rules in Bellator.

Under the title rules in Bellator, title shots are earned not given. Initially, a fighter had to win a tournament to get a title shot and Bellator later added additional clause over the last two years when states there can be a rematch from a title fight or a tournament champion replacement clause.

Since Chandler is coming off a defeat against Alvarez and did not re-enter the Bellator lightweight tournament, how is this fight against Brooks an interim title fight? Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney explained to that making this fight between Chandler and Brooks an interim title fight was a logical choice.

“It just made good logical sense,” Rebney said. “If you look at the Dantas situation with the head and we don’t know when Dantas is going to be back. God willing he is back quick and the same thing with Ed. Ed could be out three weeks. Ed could be out three months. Ed could be out a year. We see head injuries keep guys out for a long time. Chandler lost a controversial five round decision that a lot of people thought he won and Brooks won the tournament. It just made logical sense.”

“If it was a shoulder and somebody could look at me and say ‘it’s four months and he is going to be back in the gym and fight in six to seven [months].’ That is a different scenario. With the head, you do not know and you can not rush it. So we were like, well we have two guys that have both earned it. Opportunity to do it and god willing Ed is able to come back, which I am assuming he will be able to but I don’t know. When he does, he will fight one of these two guys.”