Big shakeups on the MMA landscape are looming. According to a report by MMAFighting, Bellator founder Bjorn Rebney is on his way out. His replacement: Strikeforce founder Scott Coker.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Viacom executives, the majority owner of Bellator MMA, informed Rebney, the founder and CEO of the promotion, earlier this week in New York that they are working towards replacing him with former Strikeforce CEO and founder Scott Coker. Josh Gross first reported the news early Wednesday morning.
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.
As the clear number two MMA organization in the world, Bellator has played well the role of top non-UFC option for fans and fighters. But it’s easy to forget that the only reason Bellator is in its number two spot is because Coker’s Strikeforce grew so successful that the UFC bought it and scrapped it for parts.
While it’s far too early to know what changes Coker would bring about to Bellator, it’s safe to assume the we’ll see more “name” fighters and less tournaments.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea