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Scott Coker has no immediate interest in Bellator, focused on booking Melendez/Aoki II

By Zach Arnold | November 3, 2010

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With all the hullabaloo about Bjorn Rebney and Bellator’s PR staff publishing texts they allegedly sent Scott Coker asking for a meeting to book a Bellator vs. Strikeforce themed-fight show, I decided to go back to last Friday’s interview that Mr. Coker did with Sherdog radio. On the show, the Strikeforce CEO says he had not received any messages from Mr. Rebney.

INTERVIEWER: “Yeah, maybe he’s texting the Fake Scott Coker. Maybe he’s got it mixed up.”

SCOTT COKER: “Maybe that’s what it is. I think that’s probably what it is! You guys should say, hey, you got to stop getting a hold of the Fake Scott Coker.”

INTERVIEWER: “Scott, you know, you said something a moment ago, saying well, if he’s serious about this, he needs to call me or he needs to come down here (San Jose) and sit with me. It seems like, you know, Bellator has more to gain than Strikeforce for making this co-promotional fight happen. Is that sort of your sense, too, you’re not going to go out of way to make this happen, Bjorn has to come to you?”

SCOTT COKER: “Let’s be honest. I understand why he wants to do it so badly. I mean, you know, who is there left for Eddie Alvarez to fight in Bellator that has any relevance?”

INTERVIEWER: “No one really.”

SCOTT COKER: “OK, so that’s why he wants to make this fight happen. So, you know, we’re busy, guys. I mean we got some great fights we’re going to put together next year. We got a great fight with (Dan) Henderson and (Renato) Babalu on December 4th. I mean, we’re doing 18 fights next year, so I have a very busy schedule and I have to, you know, try to, uh, you know, make the Melendez-Aoki fight, number 2 fight happen in Japan on New Year’s Eve, so, you know, we have a busy schedule so if it’s that important to him, you know, he’s going to have to make the effort. Just crying about it in the media, to me that’s not an effort. That’s just trying to get publicity for Bellator.”

INTERVIEWER: “Yeah, you almost think, you know, this is a natural MMA way of going about things, you go and cry on message boards to get fights and stuff like that and for some reason MMA was like the only sport that it actually worked in, you know.”

SCOTT COKER: “Yeah, here’s the thing, you know, I think that everybody knows that we’re straight-up people, straight-up businesspeople and, you know, we run a real company and we’re very busy. So, you know, if he wants to put it together, then let’s have that conversation. But I’m not going to do it through the media, I think that’s a mistake, you know, and for him to say Hector Lombard saying he wants to fight Jacare, and this and that, I mean, c’mon. That’s such… you know, who’s left for Hector Lombard to fight in their Middleweight division? I mean, I think that, you know… I understand they’re running thin, so, I get it. But, you know, go pick up the phone, give me a call, come out to San Jose, do what you have to do, but, you know, I’m not going to have, let’s have a conversation. He wants to have just, you know, on a media site.”

INTERVIEWER: “Yeah, Bjorn’s been saying a lot of things like he’s confident in all of his champions against your champions and why not do one big Bellator vs. Strikeforce card. Just hypothetically, no business involved at all, how do you see your champions against the Bellator champions?”

SCOTT COKER: “Oh, c’mon, I feel like our guys can fight anybody in the world. And you know what guys? We did. I mean, here’s the thing is that you know when it was time for Aoki, who at that time you know I think Gilbert handled Aoki very, very, uh, uh, very easily, I think it was not even a tough fight for him, but before the fight happened, you know, people there was a lot of questions about what would happen and I think that when they eventually fight, whether it’s on the 31st or some time next year when they fight again in Japan and we can put that fight together, I think people are going to have that question, in the ring is it going to be different because Gilbert can’t prop him up against the cage and use the cage as an apparatus, you know, and when Aoki fought Kawajiri last time, he just looked amazing and I just said, wow, this guy is, he looks back to form, he looks very comfortable in the ring and very comfortable fighting in Japan much more so than he did when he fought in Nashville.”

Honestly, I have no idea why he is so focused about that re-match or what there is to gain from it. It’s not as if there is huge demand amongst Japanese MMA fans to see that match at this point. There’s way more domestic interest in Bellator vs. Strikeforce fights and probably more money to be made from it as well.

As far as Strikeforce’s response to Bellator’s PR challenges, it comes across as somewhat passive. So, if Scott Coker sees himself as MMA’s Bob Arum and Dana White as MMA’s Don King, what does that make Rebney? MMA’s version of, well, Bjorn Rebney?

Topics: Bellator, DREAM, Japan, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 13 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

13 Responses to “Scott Coker has no immediate interest in Bellator, focused on booking Melendez/Aoki II”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    He needs to say Melendez is doing something or it makes it easier for Rebney to push his agenda.

    I’m glad Coker is firing back. Let’s get Rebney out of the sport. Without Showtime he is likely a sitting duck….

    It’s going to get so ugly when Bellator goes out of business.

  2. The Gaijin says:

    Any boxing/fight fans happen to catch the latest Pacquiao/Margarito 24/7?

    I hate to pull an Ivan Trembow over-wrought disdain here but I was completely disgusted when that slimeball Margarito and his team “jokingly” wrapped his hands for a training session with a brick (!! LMFAO!! hoh-hoh!). Isn’t that funny?!? Remember when he got caught putting plaster/a hardening substance in his wraps (and probably did it many times before)?!? He totally could have maimed or killed someone! HA-HA-HA.

    That’s “awesome”. Glad to see he took such a dangerous and despicable thing so seriously and is remorseful over it and not hamming it up IN FRONT OF A CAMERA mocking the situation!

    Fuck you Margarito and your team. Fuck you Bob Arum and Top Rank for giving this scumbag another chance to fight a big money fight. Fuck HBO for giving this dickhead publicity and making him out to be a good guy. Fuck you Texas State Athletic Commission, you impotent, corrupt, gutless a-holes.

    /rant

    • David M says:

      I saw it and was also a bit perturbed. It would be akin to GSP dipping himself in a vat of vaseline before a training session on a UFC countdown show, except that GSP never got the suspension he deserved because the NSAC is a fucking joke.

      • Robert Poole says:

        Yeah because GSP supposedly, allegedly having too much vaseline on him (a charge levied by a bit of a sore loser nonetheless) is EXACTLY THE SAME as wrapping your hands in plaster and attempting to inflict serious brain damage or death onto someone.

        Great corollary there. :rolls eyes:

        • david m says:

          Think about it this way: BJ Penn is known for his grappling prowess and flexibility. He probably felt relatively safe in the guard, knowing that he would be able to use the dexterity of his legs to control and maybe reverse or sub GSP. At the very least, Penn had to have thought that he would have been able to threaten with subs, thus slowing GSP’s elbow attack. Due to the grease (and there are plenty of GIFs of this online), his legs just slipped off GSP’s back. If you don’t think that there is danger to someone laying on his back being elbowed in the head repeatedly with no way to defend himself due to his opponent’s slipperiness, I don’t know what to tell you. Obviously it follows that BJ Penn took a lot more damage than he otherwise would have because he was not able to threaten sweeps/subs effectively because his legs slid off of GSP’s greasy back.

          MMA fans like to close their eyes to this fact, preferring to call BJ a crybaby and allowing themselves to believe that GSP didn’t know that his trainers were applying vaseline to his back–what a coincidence that they would do such an act against someone with world-class jiu jitsu, similarly all the rumors of GSP greasing his legs when he fought Fitch must be poppycock as well. GSP is just as morally culpable as Margarito, and they are both liars.

          You are focusing on the fact that plaster of paris is more dangerous than vaseline, but ignoring the fact that anytime you willingly cheat in a fight, you are doing something highly unethical at best and criminal at worst.

    • edub says:

      “He totally could have maimed or killed someone! HA-HA-HA.”

      He didn’t do that, but he IMO took away how great Cotto could have been. Cotto is still a great fighter today, but IMO would have been able to actually compete with Manny or Floyd had he never been taken that beating from Margs.

      Fuck a Top Rank

      • The Gaijin says:

        Good point – totally forgot to point out that there’s a very good chance he did the same thing in his war with Cotto and, if so, he most likely caused irreparable damage to an awesome, awesome fighter who could have been even better.

  3. […] continues to look as if Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has next to no interest in working with Bellator. The Lightweight Championship Super fight between Bellator’s Eddie […]

  4. Chromium says:

    “Honestly, I have no idea why he is so focused about that re-match or what there is to gain from it. It’s not as if there is huge demand amongst Japanese MMA fans to see that match at this point. There’s way more domestic interest in Bellator vs. Strikeforce fights and probably more money to be made from it as well.”

    Scott Coker used to work with FEG as their K-1 promoter in Nevada. The way he was able to get all those DREAM fighters is because he has a good relationship with them, and I think partially he’s just trying to return the favor here, to maintain his relationship with FEG.

    • Chuck says:

      We all knew that, but the question is why THAT specific rematch? Melendez absolutely DOMINATED Aoki, so there is no reason for a rematch so soon. If Coker wanted to return the favor, he could have sent over someone else or try to get Melendez a different opponent, then if he wins then possibly get a rematch with Aoki, when the first fight isn’t so fresh-ish on peoples’ minds.

      And I agree that Melendez/Alvarez is a much better fight to make than Melendez/Aoki II. Or even Melendez/Thompson III (as much as I would love to see a rubber match). I could care less about Strikeforce vs. Bellator as a marketing tool, but I would love to see that fight. Amongst others that would technically be SF vs. Bellator (like Frausto vs. Cyborg, Cole Konrad v.s whoever, Ben Askren vs. maybe KJ Noons or whoever, etc.).

      • William says:

        That was the deal regarding the details of that fight from the beginning. In exchange for Aoki fighting in a cage for the first time of his career, Melendez would re-match him in Japan where they could fight in a ring. Coker actually been tried to get out of that bout just because of how lopsided it was, but needs to remain in good standing with DREAM so it’s gonna happen anyways.

  5. […] this isn’t all that different than what he said last Friday on Sherdog radio. However, he has sent mixed signals through other media channels. Dave Meltzer noted that Mr. […]

  6. grafdog says:

    “Honestly, I have no idea why he is so focused about that re-match or what there is to gain from it.”

    Well I’ll tell you again, It would allow him to promote a 155 lb champion who holds 2 (two) championship belts in 2 promotions. Then if he were to fight Eddie in a bellator title fight he would be undisputed #1 at 155 and have an unheard of 3 belts. That really is as ultimate as it gets.

    Dana is fond of having his fighters “clean out the division” same thing here except Gil will clean out entire promotions before/if he heads to the ufc.

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