Scott Coker Drops Bombshell: Bellator for Sale...

In a recent interview, Bellator President Scott Coker addressed the speculation surrounding a potential sale of the promotion. Coker acknowledged that there are “a lot of unknowns right now” and emphasized that he prefers to focus on the growth and success of Bellator. He expressed confidence in the company’s position as the clear number two promotion in the MMA space, highlighting the talent and global reach of Bellator.

Coker also discussed his approach to promoting fights and giving credit to the fighters. He explained that his job is to promote the athletes and the events, and he believes that the fighters deserve the recognition for stepping into the cage and putting their lives on the line. Coker’s respect and love for martial arts is evident as he talks about the samurai spirit and the mental mindset of a warrior.

When asked about potential matchups and title fights, Coker mentioned that they aim to have their world champions fight twice a year. He expressed interest in a fight between Leah McCourt and Cris Cy borg, stating that it’s a fight that Leah wants and Cyborg would be willing to take. However, Coker noted that they will need to consider the timing and scheduling of the fight, as they try to give their fighters enough time to rest and recover between bouts.

Regarding his contractual status, Coker didn’t go into specifics but mentioned that non-compete clauses are typically applicable to owners, and since he is not the owner of Bellator, it may not be a concern for him. He emphasized that he doesn’t want to engage in speculation or gossip and prefers to focus on the business at hand.

Coker also addressed the comments made by UFC President Dana White about Bellator. While he hadn’t heard the specific comments, he stated that Bellator is a great company and the clear number two promotion in the MMA space. He highlighted the talent they have and their ability to pack arenas, and expressed that negative comments from other promoters don’t impact him as he focuses on the growth of Bellator.

In terms of the middleweight division, Coker mentioned that they will evaluate the situation with Johnny Eblen, who recently fought, before making any decisions on his next opponent. He acknowledged the presence of top contenders like Grant Neal and Aaron Jeffrey and expressed that they will contribute to the growth of the 185-pound division.

As for the rumors of a possible merger with the Professional Fighters League (PFL), Coker remained tight-lipped and stated that he prefers to wait and see what happens. He didn’t offer any personal opinion on the matter and emphasized that he likes to keep his thoughts to himself until there is more clarity.

Overall, Coker’s focus remains on promoting the athletes, growing Bellator, and ensuring fair and competitive matchups for the fighters. He is confident in the company’s position and looks forward to the future of Bellator.

y Scott congrats on the huge event
getting this far now I do want to talk
about all the fights but you did make a
promise the other day that maybe you
could give us some information about
everybody that’s been back here
everybody’s been asking them what do you
make about the future of the promotion
what’s going on where’s your home going
to be next year can you give us anything
at all yeah as you guys know I mean
listen two weeks ago it was like oh this
thing’s going down in a week a month ago
it was this thing’s been going back and
forth for how long for the last 6 months
and so to
me I don’t want to really engage any
speculation or see where uh you know
where the future goes as far as you know
is a deal going to happen is it not
going to happen you know I mean these
things take time and until the time gets
you know
solidified to me it’s just speculation
so I I can’t engage in that cuz it’s
really unfair I think to the promotion
the 300th event we had some great fights
tonight we’ve been doing some great
fights over the last you know let’s say
8 n years and uh this company has grown
so much I mean it’s such a tonight’s a
celebration so you know as far as like
um from two days ago till today I
honestly don’t have an update it’s
basically the same so I’d be making
something up just to just to make you
happy but really it’s it’s it’s the same
situation it was two days ago so you
know hopefully there’ll be some clarity
soon and and we’ll find out what’s going
on I I think you can understand why
everybody wants to know I think it’s
because frankly people are probably
rooting for you guys to stick around
yeah I mean listen I think people feel
like it’s better with with a few more
people in the space yeah and but you
know keep in mind guys I don’t own
Bellator Bellator is not my company to
own or to sell to keep to merge to you
know it’s owned by vicom and you know
they have a a process that they do and
they’re they’re doing what they need to
do but uh it’s not something that I own
to sell or not sell so that’s the truth
you have last one on this you have been
through it before though so I guess I
wonder when this talk started picking
back up are you like oh man like I just
did this like 12 years ago like I got to
go through and deal with this again
because I’m sure that wasn’t maybe the
the most fun period of your life having
to watch Strike Force go away and then
just kind of you know y you know what
the difference is I own Strike Force
right this is something that I don’t own
so I it’s hard for me to really comment
on that because it’s a compl now it does
there are some you know feelings that
feel the same but uh at the end of the
day it’s it’s not my
company hi Scott I wonder if you could
just talk about the top three three
fights how how did they go in your
opinion did you feel like they went
above and beyond like I I I I I don’t
see how anybody can say that Chris
cyborg is not the goat in the female
division she is a beast she’s amazing
and she took care of business to me that
was an amazing fight Lou B fought a very
tactical fight premise is no joke this
guy is a guy that has come out and upset
a lot of our top guys he wasn’t even in
this tournament if you think about it
when we started in what in February we
announced it in February in La we had
all the guys come up he wasn’t even part
of the tournament but uh because of uh
fail test by one of the athletes that
was in the tournament he stepped in and
he’s delivered so you know he delivered
another fight I mean usan knows how
dangerous Dre premise is I talked to
Javier just in the back there a second
ago and he said look man you know it’s
the kids dangerous and and we had to
respect him and and and the fight was
what it was and outside of those three
fights was there anything on this card
that kind of stands out to you um just a
fighter a particular fight a moment
anything that kind of resonates with you
know there was there was actually a lot
of great fights but I think the Liam
McCord fight really was something that I
was really amazed at how much she
dominated uh Sarah so it’s uh it’s
something that I felt like wow this is
you know she’s ready to step up to the
next level she wants to fight cyborg in
the future we would love to see it um
but um you know she’s going to have her
hands full I mean that’s that’s a tough
test I’d say congratulations on your win
now you know go get in the gym and get
back to work because it’s not going to
be any easy task to face Chris uh at any
time and I just have one pertaining to
the sale um if something were to happen
where Bellator would just cease to exist
in any capacity would there be a goodbye
or would you guys just kind of fade off
into the sunset do you you plan
something oh you guys thought I was
going to have some kind of speech today
and make some kind of announ
announcement well here it is there’s no
announcement I’m just Ming with you guys
I mean honestly that’s look I have a
contract with Viacom I’m going to honor
my contract with viom and or Paramount
actually now so you know to me there’s a
lot of uncertainty and a lot of unknowns
right now but hopefully we’ll have some
clarity soon and everybody can figure it
out right here so with this being
bellator’s 300th event what would you
say would be your favorite event so far
ah man that’s a tough one that is that’s
a tough tough tough task I mean there’s
been so many great fights in this
company and um you know to watch I I
would say you know in the early part of
this company we had a lot of you know
stars that uh you know maybe have you
know been around for a while and and to
me what I’m really proud of is we
identified four five six athletes that
we said these are going to be the future
of our company and it was Usman AJ
mcke um it was um just forgetting
something but you know we have cyborg we
started building a roster that was
amazing and so when you think about how
deep this roster is Aaron Pico is
another guy that comes to my mind and
and the list goes on and on and on we’re
not you know we we were a company that
went out and said we’re going to put our
back on five different people and then
you know we had to have dance partners
for all these Fighters and we had to
bring in you know the best fighters to
fight these guys and and these
tournaments really have been been
special you know and when I think about
the the amazing work that we’ve done and
and it all started back in 2014 I sat
down with Bob cook who uh if you guys
some of you guys probably know Bob
Cook’s history but unbelievable talent
scout him and Javier helped me in the
very beginning of strike force and when
when I when I came on board Bellator and
I started working for Kevin k at Spike
TV and we said okay we’re going to build
this company I sat there and we went
through the roster and me and Bob went
through the roster and I said what do
you think Bob and he said H I don’t I
don’t think you have very much here
right now so you’re going have to start
signing guys and get busy and get to
work and we got a long way to go and so
to finally see it come to fruition what
Bob and I sat down and you know started
mapping out my kogan was very
instrumental in bringing some of the top
guys here and managing the talent and uh
so you know it’s it’s been it’s been a
great great experience to watch this
company grow think about it you know
when when you think about what other the
compan right now besides the UFC is
going to Arenas and basically selling
what they what we do here or we sold out
in Paris we sold out in Ireland a couple
times we sold out in Chicago I mean it’s
you know it’s good to see the brand grow
to the point it was because when I first
came here it was you know we were doing
little Casino shows and and I sat there
the very first fight excuse me very
first fight and I said oh man this we
got we got a long way to go this is this
is this is going to be a lot of work and
you know it just proves listen I worked
hard this company I got an amazing staff
they all worked hard we all found a
common goal and where we wanted to go
with the brand and I think we executed
so if you think about you know how far
has come that’s really what I’m really
proud of and I’m proud of the athletes
that we have here and we have developed
and you know listen Strike Force was
amazing you know I think that the UFC
benefited from Strike Force’s roster
that came over there and stayed but you
know we we took you know Fighters that
had no fights in Strike Force and and we
built them built their careers and same
thing over here and we’re doing it right
now so you know I think the sky’s is a
limit and I think we have a lot of
Talent on this roster and you know we’ll
see what the future folds unfolds one
more for me so coming over from Strike
Force what would you say was the biggest
lesson that you learned from Strike
Force that help you succeed in
Bellator you know I tell you um that’s a
very good question because you know this
is something where I look back at my
career as you know having having
different seasons like life has
different seasons right and I feel like
in 7 8 n 10 year increments I had the
one year cuz you know this is this is my
37th 38th year in the martial art fight
business and it started with
professional kickboxing and then it went
from that and that was the that was the
era where they actually I promoted
fights this long ago where you had guys
that had to wear long pants he had to
throw eight kicks per round they were
counting the cards it was on ESPN I
don’t know if you guys watch it but you
know that’s that that was the era that I
started my promotion you know business
and Javier Mendes fought for me Mike
Winkle John fought for me Rick Rufus
fought for me and then you know then
then came the the second generation
where we had Alice gong and Kung Lee and
John Claud Le and all the affir Tex
killers and then came you know let’s say
the K1 era and that was another chapter
another season I think in my career and
then from K1 it went to Strike Force MMA
and then it went to and then you know I
sold the company and then I was in a
non-compete so uh I couldn’t go anywhere
and then I and then now the Bellator era
came and so you know when you think
about all the great fights in the
history it’s it’s really it’s really
hard to identify like one fight or but I
could tell you this the greatest fight
that I’ve ever seen I think in person
there’s two fights that come to my mind
and the one is in Pride Las Vegas I
think it’s Pride one or two
it was
um gy
fighting Nate Nick Diaz I thought that
was unbelievable and then the second I
thought was Paul Dy fighting Nick Diaz
here uh back in
2013 something like that but yeah I
think those are my two
favorite what’s up Scott congrats on
another big event this was monumentos
huge San Diego enjoyed it um you know
you always give a lot of credit CH said
this earlier this week you give a lot of
credit to the fighters the people around
you I truly believe that you deserve a
round of applause you know you deserve
some credit um thank you it’s thank you
it’s obviously your way it’s the person
you are there’s nothing wrong with it
obviously but how come you give all
these other people credit and you don’t
take as much you know what to me I’ve
always felt this way is that my job is
to promote the athletes my job is to
promote OTE the event my job is to
promote the fight to me this is about
the fighters the league is important yes
and and you have to promote the league
but man at the end of the day and I
learned this from Mr isi in K1 when I
was working for Japan in Japan and he
said never forget that these athletes
are the ones stepping into the ring and
putting their life on the line it’s not
you you’re the facilitator but you could
be the promoter but really it’s these
guys and and and it really it’s always
stuck with me because at the end of the
day they have the samurai Spirit they
have the bajito spirit right and so I
love martial arts it’s been part of my
life for a long time and and I’ve had a
great martial arts journey and part of
it is to be able to watch these guys
just develop and grow and grow and and
and really it’s you know I I have so
much respect for these Fighters because
what they do think about it they walk
into a cage they lock the door there’s
one referee in there and then it’s on
that that’s a very unique you know
mindset the mental mindset of a warrior
right to me that’s what that is and so I
have so much respect for these guys so
much love for these guys and girls it’s
like you know that’s that’s something
very special and that to me that’s the
martial arts way and so that’s how I was
brought up I like that a lot man thank
you um you so this week earlier we saw
Lon vasel unfortunately he was ill and
had to P pull out of this fight is two
questions I’ll make it into one is
replacement in these title fights
something that is like a little bit more
important to you now and also is that
Bader Vel fight something that we could
see in Chicago at 301 later this year I
I mean I don’t think 301 is already full
so I don’t think that’s going to be
possible but I will say this when when I
think about you know Replacements right
we heard from Linton vessel’s management
he was sick right and basically you have
seven days to find a new replacement and
yeah the phone rang but you know are
they in tip top shape to fight a guy
like Ryan Bader how many people can do
that to begin with right and then not
have a full training camp train for so
you know to me it wasn’t it wasn’t worth
it to me I want to when we promote Ryan
he’s got to be in a really good fight
good matchup has to be fair training and
and and this has been a not just for
this fight this has been an ongoing
discussion I’ve had with my team was
like look we’re not going to just put in
anybody to fight anybody you know if you
have a you’re saying this is a world
title fight in the heavweight division
and you’re saying this is one of the
best fight fighters heavyweight fighters
in the world he’s got to fight somebody
else that’s just as tough and they have
to have the ability to train and perform
otherwise you know what you’re going to
end up with you’re just going to end up
with you know a bad performance on one
person’s end and so it’s not fair I
don’t think it’s fair for the audience
and I I just don’t think it makes sense
this is something that we’ve adopted you
know years ago not just in the last you
know two weeks or three weeks thank
you Scott uh Leah came into the the cage
afterwards to kind of you know get
something going with Chris it’s already
October you have a fight coming up in
November how far down the road are you
really looking if if you’re going to
make that fight I mean how long is the
leech that you can can really examine
you the world champions you know we try
to fight him twice a year so that’s kind
of what you know I would put on the
calendar like you know when Chris wants
to fight again she’s probably going to
want to go rest and take a vacation and
go do whatever she does but you know
we’ll be back in touch with them soon
but I’m you know that that’s a fight
that you know Leah wants and Cyborg will
will definitely take it so you know it’s
you know I always have that saying let
me go back to my camp and talk to my
guys and Shuffle the deck and and see
what we come up with next week and then
you briefly mentioned the non-compete
that you had uh after Strike Force
before you came here is there some
language in your contract that you have
now that could keep you out of the
promotion business uh given whatever
could happen or is there you know will
you be able to continue to promote
fights regard regardless of what
happened U well I don’t want to get into
my contractual status with with vicom
but I will say this you know you can
only do a non-compete when you when
you’re the owner right so I’m not the
owner of a company so you know but I’m
not going to get into the details of you
know when it expires or how it goes or
you know any of those details but you
know when uh you know especially when I
live in California it’s it’s a much
different you know work environment
there but um you know it’s a good
question and then uh you know you owned
strike force that was your child so
maybe as a stepchild I don’t know
exactly but um you know what what has
the difference been between founding a
promotion starting it and then joining
something you know 100 vents in and
needing to to change it up and do it
your way I mean strike Forest I don’t
even I think we had probably what like
40 50 Events maybe in strike Forest
maybe here I think I promoted like 170
180 events for this company and you know
what this is just my work ethic it’s
like I I treat this like my my own
company right take calls 24 hours a day
on the phone all the time trying to you
know trying to you know maximize the
growth of this company and and if you
think about it we went from a uh you
know let’s say a domestic product on
Spike TV to a global product we have
deals with the BBC we have deals with
unex in Japan we have deals in Ireland
on Virgin this this is broadcasting 160
countries around the world I mean it’s
you know and including this fight here
tonight so it’s it’s something that you
know uh the distribution we’re really
proud of of the distribution of this uh
of this
company Scott right here uh you
previously like in years past had
employed a strategy of kind of or
developed a reputation of signing you
know veteran UFC fighters and going that
route to sort of go for the name value
of guys that were leaving that promotion
but in recent years you’ve really uh
focused on developing homegrown talent
and it’s shown and we’re at a point now
where we’re actually having
conversations about would this Champion
beat the UFC’s Champion would this
Bellator Champion beat the UFC’s
Champion so given that the promotion is
where it’s at from a competitive
standpoint in the cage are you like are
you disappointed that we’re even having
this conversation about Bellator going
away or everything that’s going on
around the promotion right now well I
mean listen that’s speculation again so
let’s see let’s see what happens it
could still go a lot of different ways
honestly so to me I I don’t want to
engage in any kind of conversation any
kind of gossip or any kind of
speculations okay and then the other
question I wanted to ask um uh recently
Dana White was asked about Bellator
situation and he had said why on gods
bleeping Earth would anybody buy
Bellator but then a week later uh he
changed his tune and said it would be a
good thing if Bellator stuck around what
what do you make of his comments what’s
your reaction to that you know listen
it’s uh it’s you know I and I didn’t
even hear that so I don’t even know how
to comment but um listen we have we have
a great
company and when you talk about clear
number two in the space nobody has the
fighters that we have nobody can pack
this Arena like we can pack other than
the UFC so when uh when I think about
you know negative comments coming from
other promoters it just is what it is it
does you know I don’t I’m not really
impacted by that I really try to focus
on business at hand and what what’s
important to the growth of this company
and the growth of our employees to you
know to try to keep this going forward
so to me I focus on what we’re doing and
not any outside disturbance hey Scott
right here go go
ners what’s up Scott uh I know the event
just ended but I got to say Grant Neil
came out here tonight looked like an
absolute dog at middleweight cutting
down from light heavyweight to
middleweight he was a top ranked
Contender at 205 now he’s at 185 he
called for a title shot with Johnny
eblin another guy calling for a title
shot with Johnny eblin is Aaron Jeffrey
what you make that whole situation at
middleweight it seems like there’s two
top contenders ready for a title shot
yeah you know what um Johnny just fought
and so you know we’re going to go back
to the drawing board with him of course
we’ll take a look and see what happened
but um you know what we’re not going to
jump to any decisions on who’s going to
who he’ll fight next uh but you know we
are looking to continue to to grow our
division and and these guys will
definitely contribute to to the growth
of the 185 PB division that’s Ali Ali’s
like get who’s Mone in here he’s hurry
up he needs to go don’t worry last one
for me you’re going to love this
question Scott I promise um I know
you’re not the owner as you mentioned
it’s not your decision to buy sell merge
and whatnot but when you heard the
rumors Just Like Us Media members and
the fans out there that there is a
chance there’s some speculation
surrounding a possible merge with pfl
was there a little sense of excitement
you felt maybe something new oh that
would be cool or is it more like you’d
rather keep Bellator if it were up to
you your opinion keep Bellator separate
en again you know that’s something that
let’s just see what happens you know cuz
again I I’ll be you know I’ll be
answering on speculations so you know I
don’t I don’t uh I really just like to
keep my of myself but there’ll be a time
where you know we can have a a
conversation if this thing happens or
not thank you guys I know Usman wants to
come up here thanks guys

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