Scott Coker believes that he UFC’s deal with Reebok has taken away the freedom from their fighters.
Bellator CEO Scott Coker believes that his promotion is in a good place right now. They will take another stab at pay-per-view in June, and host that show in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Their roster of fighters has never been deeper. And being owned by Viacom means that they’re in this for the long haul.
In an interview on the Luke Thomas Show, Coker gave a bunch of insight into what the future looks like as well. He thinks that the company can run 2-3 PPVs a year with their still-developing roster, and believes that the $49.95 price point is fair for their June 15th show. The most interesting part of the interview might have been what he had to say about the UFC’s sponsorship deal with deal with Reebok. Coker believes that the restrictive deal is actually good for his own business, because a lot of fighters want the freedom that Bellator can provide:
“I think it’s been really good for our business, honestly. Fighters want the freedom to get their own sponsors, and…they just want the freedom. I don’t think they’d like….I know fighters, big-name fighters, that say ‘I had a million dollars in sponsors, and now I have $40,000 every time I fight, or $20,000 every time I fight’, and all that sponsorship went away. And those are some big names over there.
“I think, to me, they want a certain amount of freedom, and that’s what we give them. The freedom to go out and get your own sponsorships. You won’t be stopped from getting someone that fits you as a person, or as a personality. And I think that’s the way it should be.”
I recommend giving the whole thing a listen, where he also talks about whether the late Kimbo Slice was a potential PPV star as opposed to a TV star, gives his opinion on the face of free agency in MMA right now, discusses how Spike’s upcoming rebrand might affect the promotion, and much more.