Maybe it’s purely accidental, maybe it’s calculated, but either way, Bellator honcho Scott Coker might be helping the UFC with their pending class action lawsuit.
As we all know, the crux of the suit brought by various fighters is that the UFC violates antitrust law by engaging in practices that give them an unfair monopoly/monopsony (a monopsony being that they’re the sole buyer of fighters’ services and can therefore exert too much control over the market). On its face, it seems like the suit has merit… but then Coker keeps dropping quotes like this to MMAFighting:
One of the major points of the antitrust lawsuit filed against the UFC last week was the standing of other mixed martial arts organizations in the United States. In order to argue the UFC is a monopoly, the complaint asserts that every other MMA promotion is lesser.
In particular, the lawsuit calls Bellator, regarded as the No. 2 MMA company in the world, “a minor league.”
Bellator president Scott Coker told MMA Fighting this week that he disagreed with that claim.
“Do I think Bellator is a minor league?” Coker said. “The answer is no.”
As if that wasn’t enough, today Coker had this little nugget:
“There’s not going to be a fighter on the planet we can’t afford and have access to,” Coker said.
It’s possible that Coker is just shooting from the hip and the inadvertent ricochets are to the UFC’s benefit. It’s also possible that Coker fears the industry-wide changes to fighter contracts the lawsuit might bring. Either way, who knew a rival promoter would be the UFC’s best friend when it came to the class action lawsuit?