Scott Coker turned Strikeforce into such a dynamic MMA company that the UFC was forced to buy it to keep it from becoming a true challenger.
Now Coker takes over as the President of Bellator MMA and he looks to build a brand similar to what he had at Strikeforce, if not bigger. Before Bellator can reache those heights Coker must undo some of the unorthodox moves Bellator has made in recent years. One of those being the unsuccessful shot at becoming a PPV entity.
“To me, I think that we should be on Spike TV and building the next wave of stars in front of 100 million households,” he said. “There will be a time probably in the future where we can definitely go back to the PPV business, but for the foreseeable future, I see us as a Spike property.” – Coker
Another change will be Bellator’s tournament style fight cards. Coker seems like he’d like to go back to the traditional main event, co-main event, undercard format used by most fighting promotions.
“We’re going to put on the best fights we can put on, and we’re going to put on fights that the fans want to see. I think you might see a tournament at some point in 2015, but right now, I’m not ready to commit to that. But we’re going to see some big event and big fights, and fights that are going to move the needle.”
Coker is surely saying the right things but the next 2 years will determine if Bellator becomes the main rival for the UFC or if they close their doors for good.
“To me, one of the things we really have to focus on is, look, if you put on a bunch of fights that people don’t want to watch, then you’re going to have a very short business. And we have a good enough roster right now to make big fights in the future. I’m excited about the prospects coming up and the prospects we’re signing. We’re going back into the female fight division, and we might even start another female division in another weight class. We’re going to start building this thing up. I think it’s going to look a lot different in 18 months than it does today.”
Strikeforce’s main advantage over the UFC a few years ago was their ability to find up & coming talent across the US and the world. Some of the best UFC fighters today began their careers in Strikeforce and if Bellator takes that route they’ll be able to carve out their niche in MMA. If they go the route of recycling washed up UFC stars like Ortiz and Rampage they’ll crumble. Coker knows that and seems as though he has the right game plan for Bellator’s future.