Bjorn Rebney did great founding Bellator and establishing it as a viable entity and competitor to the UFC, but towards the end of his tenure, it was clear he’d taken it as far as he could. But Viacom wanted more out of their investment, so they got rid of Rebney and replaced him with former Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker. That move was pure brilliance.
Since Coker took over, we’ve had probably just as many legitimate matches (featuring truly high-level competitors) as before, but the “freakshows” have turned DVR-able Bellators into must-see TV, and that ratings boon more than cemented the organization’s place in the market.
On Monday’s “The MMA Hour“, Coker made an appearance talked about Bellator’s pay-per-view future. The man knows what he’s talking about…
“If you look at the history of Bellator, it was a pay-per-view product before I got here, with ‘King Mo’ and ‘Rampage,’” Coker said. “Then there were some changes and I came in, and we said, ‘guys, we’re really not ready for this type of business right now, but if you want to put the building blocks together and invest in the roster, I think you guys could get there.’ So now we feel like we’re ready to go.
“To me, it’s like this: we’re not going to do like other companies where we have to do one every month, or every other month. We’re going to do pay-per-view when the fights are big enough, (when) we feel like we have an event that’s big enough to do pay-per-view. So, whether that’s twice a year or three times a year or once a year, we’ll do it more like the boxing model. There’s no set (number). We’ll be like the boxing model, so when the fights are being built up to the point where we should be doing it, then we’ll do it.
“But we’re not going to be forced into it,” Coker added. “Because otherwise everything becomes irrelevant, honestly. It’s like you’re doing it just to do it, and is it really a pay-per-view worthy card? I don’t want to be in that situation. I want to be in a situation where it’s just like boxing; when the fights build up big enough, then we’ll go for it.”