As expected, Viacom today (Weds., June 18, 2014) has named former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker new President of Bellator MMA, effective immediately, charged with overseeing the day-to-day management of the Spike TV-televised mixed martial arts (MMA) franchise.
"We are excited to have Scott Coker lead us in a new direction," said network president Kevin Kay," as we evolve the league format from a tournament-based organization to a more traditional model with big fights."
Coker replaces ousted Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, who along with former president Tim Danaher, was unceremoniously removed from power after the two sides failed to see eye-to-eye on the future of the organization. One that apparently will now ditch the tournament-based format.
Something that was already in the works.
That means Bellator will adopt a more "traditional model" like the one employed by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and previously, Strikeforce, where Coker was in charge before his promotion was gobbled up by the ZUFFA zealots in early 2011.
Coker's no-compete clause ended back in March.
Bellator was founded by Rebney using the tournament-based format for all championship fights, implementing the tagline, "Where title shots are earned, not given." While it was a nice idea on paper, it didn't always ring true, leaving some fighters out in the cold in favor of "big fights."
That was then, this is now. But not everyone is excited for the future.