When Bellator announced that it had initiated the rematch clause most assumed it was bargaining chip in the bid to reclaim former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez’s services. Well, according to Bellator president Bjorn Rebney that though had never even crossed his mind.
“A consideration of retroactive applicability to this(rematch clause) hasn’t been one we’ve really given any consideration to. At this point, I’m looking at (Rick) Hawn/(Michael) Chandler… or (Patricio) Pitbull and Pat Curran that could be a rematch type of fight.”
For Rebney, the rematch clause would not even start until 2013 when the promotion makes the move to Spike TV. So, fighters like Jay Hieron and the aforementioned Alvarez who had very close and exciting fights cannot challenge for them again if they resigned with the company. Instead Bellator looks to the 2013 fight schedule and the championship fights that could have a need for a rematch.
While this concept is practical in reality it is most likely to keep the champions busy. Bellator has already had issues with champions taking off too much time in between fights while waiting for the next tournament to end. Before the rematch clause they had fighters fighting in non-title bouts, but that has backfired twice.
Eduardo Dantes took a fight outside of Bellator, and he was promptly knocked out in the first round. Current light-heacyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu lost a decision at Bellator 55 to Travis Wiuff which really dampers a championship star power when he losses matches but not his belt. Hopefully, the rematch clause while repetitive in nature will allow for more intriguing fights, and the belt will at least change hands with a loss.