In the final part of our EXCLUSIVE chat to with Scott Coker, we delved into the Bellator CEO’s dream of seeing the world’s best fighters compete in a ‘Champions League’ of MMA style event and he also talks about his future plans for Paul “Semtex” Daley.
The head of the Viacom-owned promotion continued willingness to allow fighters flexibility and freedom of movement within global MMA has surprised and delighted some MMA fans in equal measures but it is an ethos that Coker has been using for over a decade now.
“When I was in the MMA business back in 2006/2007 I was doing deals with Pride FC at that time where we would exchange fighters. We sent guys like Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thompson over and they sent Kawajiri and Aoki over to us so we had this back and forth relationship.
“I’ve always thought it was fun for our fighters and the Japanese fighters loved coming over to compete for me so it was almost like a Goodwill Games type of scenarios for fighter sharing and 2015 we sent King Mo over to compete in the Rizin tournament which he won.
“Why not let your fighters test their skills against the world’s best from other promotions, why does it always have to be self-inclusive, with promotions holding tournaments for just their own fighters why not open it up and let’s see how these guy’s do best at the end of the day this is about martial arts too, it’s about testing you skills against the best fighters.”
Coker’s commitment to inclusively for all is so intense that the former Strikeforce CEO now has dreams of establishing a fantasy league of MMA in a similar vain to European soccer body UEFA’s Champions League competition.
“We’ve talked about having a fantasy league. What if you could have a fantasy league with say, Douglas Lima, Tyron Woodley, the guy from ONE Championship, the guy from Rizin at 170, the guy from KSW we could do an 8-man tournament where you would put all the guys in there and let them fight it out. See who wins.”
Fresh off of his Bellator 170 highlight reel knockout of “Irish” Brennan Ward Coker made it clear that he is more than happy to see Paul Daley once against transition back to the sport of kickboxing if he so desires where the Nottingham slugger had previously beaten some of the world’s best strikers in the past.
“It’s really up to Paul if he competes for us in kickboxing. He competed against Fernando Gonzalez who recently fought Michael Page and did really well. At the end of the day, it’s up to him whether he wants to kickbox or compete in MMA with us his free to do both.”
Scott Coker also caught up with the Plus Media produced Combat and Strength Podcast (interview begins at 0:09:54 mark) where he talked about Bellator 165, Michael “Venom” Page’s performance and the signing of mixed martial arts legend Fedor Emelianenko. For the audio version of the podcast please click HERE.