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Scott Coker on Fedor’s loss: “It’s our job to put the fights together, it’s their job to win”

By Zach Arnold | February 13, 2011

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Video by and Ariel Helwani

ARIEL HELWANI: “So, what about this loss, Fedor to Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva? How of a big blow is this to the tournament?”

SCOTT COKER: “I mean, you know, I mean to me, people think it’s a blow of the tournament but really, hey, it’s our job to put the fights together, it’s their job to win and Fedor is who he is, but, you know, tonight is Antonio Silva’s night and I look forward to the next round. We have some great fights there and, you know what, I always said, three-to-four weeks ago, look… you never know who’s going to make it to the finals, right? People already assumed, ‘oh, well, Fedor’s going to win, why does he have to fight Alistair Overeem in the second round?’ or ‘why does he have to fight Fabricio Werdum? It’s not fair,’ but, you know, four weeks everybody thought that the Patriots and the Falcons were going to the Super Bowl, right? So, in this sport, that’s the beauty of it, you never know what’s going to happen and I think these guys are such at a high-level of competition that on any given night they can beat each other and I think tonight was his night.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “What did you think of the stoppage?”

SCOTT COKER: “You know what? I’ll tell you, I mean Fedor went to the hospital, so I’m not sure if he has a orbital fracture or not, but if he does the official should be proud of himself and when I looked at Fedor I said, ‘oh my God,’ it looked like his nose was broken, he didn’t look like he could see out of his eye, I mean… you know, he’ll have another night, you know, so I think that safety comes first always.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “You were around him all week this week in New York & New Jersey. What was your take on his mindset and the fire that was in him? Did he seem amped up for this fight?”

SCOTT COKER: “Yeah, he did, but he just ran across a big guy. And, you know, all my guys told me the same thing, look, Fedor, they always felt Fedor could win but they also said, look, if Bigfoot gets on top of him he’s going to have a hard time because you’re looking at a guy who’s 280 pounds that is not untalented, this guy is a talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter and when you look at all of his wins like in Pro Elite, you know, I mean he’s done some great things, he’s had some big victories and so, you know, he’s a skilled athlete and, you know, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the tournament.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Do you think Fedor will retire?”

SCOTT COKER: “No. Not at all.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “You don’t think he’s done?”


ARIEL HELWANI: “You seem almost certain of this.”

SCOTT COKER: “Yeah, I mean, you know, you know how it is when the fight happens, it’s an emotional time, he’s injured right now. But I don’t see any uh… I don’t see him retiring on a fight like this.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “I know Del Rosario & Johnson, that was the number one alternate fight, Del Rosario won. Is there any chance, considering how this fight ended, that if someone gets injured, Fedor slides in there?”

SCOTT COKER: “Oh yeah, absolutely. Fedor could be, if there’s an injury in the future, Fedor could be the guy. But, you know, with Shane and Chad (Griggs), maybe we’ll have those guys compete, you know, on the undercard on the next fight and keep moving along and keep growing but, you know, it’s going to go to the Committee and, how can Fedor not be your first pick?”

ARIEL HELWANI: “And in the back of your mind, is there a little bit, some sadness that you weren’t able to put together the Overeem/Fedor fight, that’s the fight that everyone wanted to see?”

SCOTT COKER: “But, how do you know we’re not going to put it together? See, that’s the thing. … Here’s the thing is that, you know, you don’t know what’s going to happen with Alistair fighting Fabricio (Werdum), right? So, I think people will see either Fedor fight Werdum in a rematch or they’ll see Fedor fight Alistair, depending on what the outcome of that event is. So, you’re still going to see Fedor in some great fights and, you know, I don’t think he’s done.”

The tone in the interview is interesting enough to watch. A more fascinating interview was this one with M-1’s Evgeni Kogan, who was very introspective about Fedor’s career after the loss.

“I think there’s probably a good chance that he comes back,” Mr. Kogan said. When asked about whether or not Fedor would come back as a tournament alternate, “Of course Fedor being back into the tournament would be great for the tournament.” Evgeni said that if Fedor continues fighting that he will do his training in Holland and that he would fight more frequently.

As for whether or not Fedor’s loss is a blow to M-1, the thought was dismissed.

“It’s not a blow at all. Business as usual. We’ve got some pretty exciting things to announce in the next couple of weeks for the U.S. 2011 for us really is a breakout year and we’ve done a lot to get here and I think that really this was an eventuality which was always going to happen and we’re prepared and Fedor is pretty much I think the greatest fighter that has ever fought and we were privileged to have worked with him and to work with him in the future should he continue to fight, but we’ll be fine.”

When asked about M-1 solidifying a deal with Showtime for television, Mr. Kogan answered the question by saying, “no comment.”

Topics: M-1, Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 27 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

27 Responses to “Scott Coker on Fedor’s loss: “It’s our job to put the fights together, it’s their job to win””

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    You smell that? It’s desperation in the air.

    Notice how little Coker hypes up Antonio Silva in that interview and instead worries more about Fedor Emelianenko. That has always been his biggest failure as a promoter. To the point that his bias gets in the way of properly building up new potential fighters care to see.

    If I was Antonio Silva, I’m finishing my contract and signing with the UFC. Don’t both him and Woodley train with ATT? So does Santiago. It would be a major coup if they could get that entire camp into the UFC. Who would Strikeforce be left with? Gracie, Glory, and M-1?

    • Tomer says:

      The best part is Coker basically going “You know those alternates that fought for the chance to replace a guy? Well, screw them and let’s reinsert Fedor despite getting mauled horribly and likely out for a while with his eye (and nose?) injury (injuries).”

    • All the questions Ariel asks are about Fedor. Look at how he frames the first question.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        A guy who knows how to do interviews properly wouldn’t really care much. They would get the message across the way they want to. They dictate the tone and how things are answered.

        Dana white straight up doesn’t answer half of Ariel’s questions. He has his talking points and no matter how the question is worded he is getting the message across the way he wants to.

        White just does it so well that most people don’t realize he does it all the time.

        Coker could and should learn this skill. He let’s the interviewer set up everything and he cones across very poorly. He should have been heavily promoting Silva during that interview and what type of new star was created.

        But the problem is that from the pre-fight interviews…. To the poster…. To the tone of the broadcast…. To the post fight interviews….. Coker never created the platform for Silva to be a star if he won. This interview is just the final nail in the coffin of this complete failure.

        • robthom says:

          Ariels pretty good.

          I agree that SF should spend more energy pushing Silva’s success then trying to whitewash and reinterpret Fedors failure.

          But from a news blog’s POV, Fedor losing is the big news.

          Its not Ariels job to do what SF should be doing.

        • He basically brushed off the answers and tried to work in discussion of Antonio Silva. Every question was about Fedor.

    • smoogy says:

      What a moronic way of looking at it. American Top Team doesn’t want to be exclusive to UFC, that’s the last thing they’d be aiming to do. Ever notice how they have fighters in virtually EVERY show, big and small? Last week in a UK title fight on TV, they even had a British-born fighter representing ATT. Their business is about placing fighters in as many places as possible. I know you didn’t think this through at all, but viewing everything through the prism of what is good for UFC and bad for Strikeforce is just sad. You’re sad.

      P.S. “Gracie” is not an organized fight team in any sense, and Strikeforce has dozens of handlers they deal with in addition to ATT. Ever heard of a little hole in the wall gym called American Kickboxing Academy? Kings MMA? Xtreme Couture?

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Gracie was short for Casaer Gracie’s gym. Not sure why that was so hard for you to figure out.

        And if you haven’t gotten the memo…. The MMA world is in the process of being condensed. It’s only gonna be more bleak for options by the end of 2011.

        • smoogy says:

          Even if that were true, which as always you’ve provided not even the slightest scrap of evidence to prove, the fact that you see that as something to crow about is pathetic. When there are no realistic options for fighters outside the UFC, that’s when you’ll know the sport is on the downslope.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Nope. That’s when it’s time for a fighters union.

          That’s also the time that any high level fight is 100% possible with no possible chance of it not happening…. Outside of the “friends” issue in MMA.

          Sounds good to me.

          And what proof do I need to provide you? There was the UFC, WEC, DREAM, Sengoku, Strikeforce, and Bellator at the beginning of 2010.

          WEC couldn’t make a mark and the UFC closed shop on it. Sengoku is releasing their champions. DREAM has no money. And Bellator is on a 4th rate TV channel with no real way of making money.

          It’s going to happen. There are no money marks left to stop it this time around. It might take a little longer then I have said, but it’s going to happen.

          And seeing all the best guys in one organization will be a great thing for all of the casual fans who only watch one organization and will now have the ability to see all of the top guys, instead of just 85%+ of them….

        • klown says:

          42 Huddle’s support for fighter unionization is his one redeeming quality ๐Ÿ™‚

        • edub says:

          If fighters become unionized with just the UFC, it will be the biggest change for promoting in combat sports history. Promoters for the top level of fighting would become virtually extinct. The UFC would change over from a fight promotion to a league.

          However, this doesn’t happen without support from the top draws and what may become a strike situation.

    • robthom says:

      “If I was Antonio Silva, Iโ€™m finishing my contract and signing with the UFC.”

      UFC should have been fishing for him a long time ago.
      Before he suddenly got popular for doing the same thing he was already doing.

      I would have rather seen money thrown at Bigfoot then the horrendously boring Shields.
      But then I’d never make a good politician either.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        They went after him…. Then he pissed hot and went to Japan to continue fighting.

        • robthom says:

          Did they?
          I hadn’t heard about it.

          BTW: What ever happened about that?
          Are we sure that he pissed a Sonnen?

          Its pretty easy top see that there is something odd about his glands/physiology and the test was
          1. In ca
          2. under that Garcia twat.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Yeah, I’m not so sure he was taking roids. He is one of the few guys who I would believe if he said he never took anything.

        • Phil says:

          I don’t understand why people give Bigfoot such benefit of the doubt when it comes to that steroid test.

          “i didn’t take steroids because of my condition, instead I took this other drug that literally does everything the steroid does, including making you test positive for steroids instead” sounds like some complete BS to me.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    By the way…. The real story to come out of this last show…. Besides Fedor being finished…. Was how Dana White trolled everybody. And he did it so well that nobody has been really mentioned that they got trolled.

    This is Mayweather / ODLH all over again (or was it Hatton?). Either way, it was an event that UFC had nothing to do with and yet at least 50%+ of the talk is about the UFC today.

    That is how you promote. He stole SF’s thunder. He dictated what the Fedor conversation was going to be like for the future. Even if you completely disagree with him, he got the message out first and it got legs. He put doubt on the Grand Prix so quickly that 2 fights in there is already a general negative tone to it all.

    The guy was a complete tool on twitter but it worked. And yet I haven’t seen one person in the MMA Media point out that they have been worked over so badly. They are really a slow bunch.

    Love him or hate him, but White is brilliant even when people think he is being stupid.

    • The Gaijin says:

      “That is how you promote. He stole SFโ€™s thunder. He dictated what the Fedor conversation was going to be like for the future. Even if you completely disagree with him, he got the message out first and it got legs. He put doubt on the Grand Prix so quickly that 2 fights in there is already a general negative tone to it all.”


      This is comedic levels of ridiculousness, but I guess I shouldn’t expect any less from people that have an agenda like yourself.

      Where’s the evidence things like he “dictated what the Fedor conversation will be like” or that there is doubt and a “generally negative tone to it all”??

      Frankly from what I’ve seen (a) I’m pretty sure the fight itself, Fedor’s interview and actual stories following the fight dictated the conversation, not a bunch of trolling tweets, (b) everyone recognizes and states that it’s an obvious troll job and (c) the general reaction from most people that I’ve seen is that they think he looks foolish and unprofessional for “trolling” 15 year old mma trolls…if he was trying to control the message he did a shitty job of it because most people are focusing on what was said but rather that he comes off like an idiot and not the president of the sports leading organization.

      These are of course just more of your typically unquantifiable evidence of things that are little more your personal opinion. Not that we expected you to do anything but come on here and complain about last night no matter what the results were.

      • smoogy says:

        But in 45’s world where UFC is always king and Strikeforce is always failing… UFC is REALLY on a roll and Strikeforce is REALLY failing now! Big momentum shift inside the mind of juvenile UFC trolls today!

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Not much of a momentum shift. The UFC just sold tickets for their first 8 figure gate. And Strikeforce struggles to get past the mid 6 figure gate level with Diaz on it.

          But what is happening is organizations are going out of business. Sengoku is in the process right now. DREAM will soon follow. Their remaining talent will be coming over to the states. From there, Bellator won’t have much left.

          There was 6 major organizations at the beginning of last year. In 2 years, that will be down to two organizations. It’s only going to get more depressing for fans like you who need some competition for the UFC to stay interested in the sport.

        • 45 is right. There shouldn’t be a shift because the UFC should be miles beyond what Strikeforce is able to do. The fact that Strikeforce is able to do it on a shoestring tells you how screwed up the economics of the sport are from a fighter standpoint.

    • robthom says:

      He’s a smart man, or at least intuitive.
      Thats why he’s accomplished what he has.

      But that doesn’t make him flawless or above reproach.

      george w. bush was president of the united states!
      And some people feel the same about Obama, and with some merit IMO.

      Obviously you or I couldn’t have done a better job on the whole then Dana has done.
      But that doesn’t mean that criticisms of him are automatically invalid either.

      Also, I dont particularly like the idea of trolling being considered cute or an attribute.
      Its part of what has helped to ruin IMO.
      That and king dub-t.

    • David M says:

      I haven’t talked to anyone today who said anything about what Dana tweeted. Everyone I have talked to who watched the fight came away thinking how sad it was to see Fedor lose. Only the biggest nuthuggers on Earth/mma “journalists” give a shit what Dana tweets.

    • Ryan says:

      You do know Dana predicted Fedor would win that fight don’t you? Also I was reading MMA news articles ALL of yesterday and Dana’s twitter comments popped up in only a few places. Hardly the ‘real story’ man.

  3. […] why they still couldn’t put those fights together after Overeem and Werdum meet in April. Via Fight Opinion: ARIEL HELWANI: โ€œAnd in the back of your mind, is there a little bit, some sadness that you […]

  4. robthom says:

    Apparently the Dana haters are also devoted followers.

    This twitter is pretty slick I guess.
    Existential validation for all tribes of jerkoffs.

    I dont count myself among either faction though which I guess explains why I’ve never read a Dana “tweet”.

    (In fact the only twitter I’ve ever read is Jenny Slate. because she’s cute. ๐Ÿ™‚ )


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