Bellator MMA could soon be operating under a new frontman, as reports are coming in this morning (Weds., June 18, 2014) that Viacom has ousted Bjorn Rebney and will replace him with former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker.
Who just so happens to be available.
Coker relinquished control of his San Jose-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in 2011, after cutting a deal with ZUFFA -- parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) -- one that forced him to close up shop and send a majority of his contracted fighters to the competition.
As expected, Coker was also bound by a no-compete clause in the sale which not coincidentally, ended back in March. The timeline would suggest this move was several months in the making and according to a report from MMA Fighting, appears to be imminent.
The early plan was to announce the move later this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday, however, according to one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, "the fight is on." In other words, Rebney, who founded Bellator in 2007, isn't ceding control easily. Coker was not available to comment on the news. It had long been rumored that Viacom executives and Rebney did not see eye-to-eye on the future of Bellator and were looking to making a change.
I can think of one person who won't be shedding any tears.
Bellator recently went into the workshop for repairs, adding a few extra stipulations to its tournament-based format, as well as how the promotion awards championships (more on that here). Whether or not those additions were part of the disputed future of the organization is unknown, but it sounds like there are more changes to come.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more on this developing story in the coming days.