Former Strikeforce Founder & CEO, Scott Coker, has been named President of Bellator MMA effective immediately.
It was announced earlier today that Bjorn Rebney had been removed from his post and there were rumors of Coker filling the void — that rumor has now been confirmed.
Coker will report directly to Spike TV President, Kevin Kay, and will oversee the daily affairs of Bellator MMA.
“We are excited to have Scott Coker lead us in a new direction as we evolve the league format from a tournament-based organization to a more traditional model with big fights.”
Notice Kay’s remarks about dropping the tournament format. Let’s be honest. They tried it. They gave it a good go. Some fighters made some decent money off of their tournaments. But, what did it accomplish? They arguably created two stars out of it — Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler. And one of them just got beat by a short notice replacement.
My initial impression is this is a huge moment for Bellator and for MMA as a whole. What Coker was able to do with Strikeforce was create an organization that “rivaled” the UFC. Strikeforce was number two, but they were a beloved number two, by fans and fighters alike.
Will Coker be able to create the same magic with Bellator as he did with Strikeforce? Time will tell. But it seems apparent now that Viacom is willing to make the necessary changes to make Bellator a real success.
Spike TV has more history and success with MMA programming than any other network on television. With Coker’s vast experience and accomplishments in MMA, it seems like a perfect fit.
Now if he can get Fedor to come back — and they sign Kimbo Slice, lookout!
Bellator will be hosting a conference call this evening at 6 p.m. ET to introduce Coker as the new President and ProMMAnow.com will bring you all the updates from that call.
For now, we wait…