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SportsMixed Martial Arts

Baku, Bellator and Bjorn Rebney

Lyman Good, right, lost to Rick Hawn in

Lyman Good, right, lost to Rick Hawn in the Season 4 welterweight tournament at Bellator 39 in Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. (April 2, 2011) Credit: Bellator/

Viacom has become a majority shareholder in Bellator, as we reported Wednesday morning, but we've got more from Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.

Rebney is a great quote and a terrific talker, which means you should put a fresh battery in your voice recorder when you call him.

We got to talking about distribution and how being a part of the Viacom family helps boost that, which led to the topic of the worldwide appeal of mixed martial arts. It's one of the few sports in America that translates smoothly into just about any other culture, he said. That's a bit different than baseball or American football.

"We’re one of the highest rated shows in Azerbaijan," Rebney said. "If you even know where Baku is, you’re a unique anomaly in this country, but man, we do great numbers in Azerbaijan. It’s so straight forward and easy to understand as a sports entertainment experience. To have partners like this who have their feet on the ground and experience and a track record in virtually every market in the world, that’s great for a company like ours.”


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