from their perspective. Obviously in a deal like this, it seems like there're a lot of moving parts involved. And I'm wondering, you know, who first initiated this deal, what was the timeframe when it all went down and how did it all sort of come together?
(Deelan): Hey Mike, It's (Deelan). You know, it really - it was a matter of Dixie and I having had a series of conversations with Kevin over literally over a year of bouncing the concept and the idea around. But for concern for the credibility of what we do as a brand at Bellator and how it needed to work, again, we needed to find a very, very special fit. We needed to find somebody who completely fit within this realm and then obviously, you know, we tracked - if you're a fan of MMA, you track King Mo, you've seen what he's done, you've seen who he's beaten and how, you know, how he's performed.
He's one of those wrestlers that comes out and while he has the world class wrestling skills, he doesn't rely on them. He relies on his takedowns to set up his punches and he's got some crazy power in both hands. So that was really the evolution and then, obviously when he parted ways with his former organization, you know, we're not in the business of talking to anybody when they are in contract with another organization.
But when he parted ways with his prior group, that's when we all came together and said, "Hey, this could conceptually be that guy. This could be the guy who could actually fill that spot and could do a great job doing both." So that's kind of when it all started in earnest in terms of talking about him as a potential fit.
Dixie Carter: Yes, you called me and I was back stage filming TV and, you know, we bantered around a lot of names but when you said King Mo, I knew right there that's the one we needed to get.
Mike Chiappetta: And, Kevin, how did you sort of work into it? I guess you have to kind of bring them together? It sounds like they were already kind of on the same page but what about - where does your role fit into this?
Kevin Sullivan: Yes, I mean, look, I've always encouraged them to talk and, you know, and to bat ideas back and forth and, you know, it started as, like you know, let's get some Bellator fighters down to, you know, TNA so that they could impact and they could help promote Bellator.
And let's, you know, let's go back and forth between the two brands in terms of promotion and let's look at people together that could work for us. So, you know, when King Mo's name came up, there was just no question. You know, I knew that he was a huge professional wrestling fan so that, you know, that made a big difference because, you know, obviously you want somebody who really cares and really wants to be a part of that organization, not just throw somebody in there.
So knowing that Mo was, you know, a huge professional wrestling fan and then finding out later that, like you know, he idolized Sting and Hogan and, you know, had followed professional wrestling, like, not just recently but throughout his whole life, you know, it just made so much sense.
And then, you know, add onto that, like, one of the greatest mixed martial art fighters in the business and he has just a tremendous charm, charisma and personality, so you know, when Dixie and Bjorn brought it to me, I was, like, "Yes, go for it. Let's do it. Let's figure this out. Let's everybody get on the phone, get out there, do whatever we have to do and, you know, and make a deal with Mo and get him to both organizations."
Mike Chiappetta: Is this deal - essentially is it, you know, signed with Viacom or is it - do you have, like, two separate deals - one with Bellator, one with TNA? How does that work?
Dixie Carter: It's a separate deal with Bellator and TNA, two separate deals.
Mike Chiappetta: Okay. And, Mo you know, obviously we've talked a little about your knee on this call and the fact that you're still going through physical therapy. Can you kindly give us an update right now on what exactly the health of your knee is?
King Mo: Well, the tubes are out, you know, because the infection's gone. I'm walking around and I'm doing rehab. You know, before I couldn't even do rehab because the infection was still around. So I'm moving forward and I'm getting healthy.
Mike Chiappetta: And if you were to say, you know, with a certain percentage of normal health, what would you say?
King Mo: I'm not sure until I start testing it more because I know strength-wise, you know, it feels good but it can always be stronger. But I'll test it more and I'm going to be doing that with my rehab therapist.
Mike Chiappetta: Okay. And obviously you've been a wrestling fan for a long time, what's kind of your favorite memory growing up, something that you think back to that kind of makes you smile when you think about now the fact that you're going to be going into ((inaudible)) as well?
King Mo: All right, you know, I hope I don't offend people, but I remember, you know, I was a big Sting fan and he was facing Rick Flare and the Crash, the champion. And it was on TV and the night before, I was praying, you know - I really didn't pray but I decided to pray to God and I was, like, "Please, God, if you love me, please let Sting win this match."
And so I was watching the match and the match ended up, you know, being like a time limit brawl so I was pretty crushed, you know, because Sting didn't win the belt. And that's - and I still think about that because I was praying, you know, for my boy, you know, Sting to win and it didn't come true so I still think about that a lot.
Mike Chaippetta: All right, cool. Thanks a lot guys. I appreciate it. Good luck to you.
Dixie Carter: Thank you so much.
Male: Thank you.
Operator: We'll go to Matt Bishop with The Detroit News.
Matt Bishop: Hey, first off, question for Bjorn. Bjorn, there were a lot of moving parts, you know, a lot of different people working on this... (Continues on next page)