Scott Coker planning to change Bellator into a more traditional format

Scott Coker was officially announced as the Bellator President on late Wednesday afternoon in a conference call and he is planning to turn Bellator into a more traditional mixed martial arts format.

Jason Floyd - The MMA Report
Jason Floyd – The MMA Report

Since the start of Bellator, former Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney believe in the tournament format where fighters had to go through a tournament to secure a title shot.

Rebney called the Bellator tournaments the “Toughest Tournament in Sports,” but this format is coming to an end under the new leadership of Coker.

During a media conference call today, Coker explained that we plans to move away from the tournament format but is still open to doing tournaments when the situation is right.

“As we move forward, my plan is to evolve the league from the tournament that we have all known to to see on Spike TV to more of a traditional format where fans get to see the fights they want, more super fight format” Coker said. “Will we ever do tournaments again? Sure. We will do tournaments when the situation makes sense. I feel that tournament has a place in mixed martial arts. The timing has to be right, the fighters have to be right, and we will determine that on a case-by-case basis.”

One of the other focal points of Bellator throughout there history is the season format. While Coker would not say that they are going away from the season format, he does believe that mixed martial arts is a sport that needs to take place year round.

“To me, my vision is a little more continuity and maybe not something that happens every week,” Coker stated. “Build big super fights and I think that the season — should be a year round sport. This should not have a season but to be honest, that is something I need to sit down with Kevin and all of the guys at Bellator and see the direction. I will have a better understanding tomorrow after I go down and meet the staff.”

Over the past two years or so, there has been several negative PR moments for Bellator and most of them have dealt with contract situations. Coker is firmly aware of the negative feeling that some people have about the organization and he plans to win those fans back by putting on exciting fights.

“Well, we are going to put on exciting fights. That is something I know we can do. I watch Bellator in the past and I have seen some exciting fights and have seen some great athletes there. As far as contracts and all that, we will review that and take action as how we see benefits the company.”