Home Japanese warriors Bellator versus PFL cross-promotion? Scott Coker steps in

Bellator versus PFL cross-promotion? Scott Coker steps in


SAN JOSE, Calif .– Scott Coker has never tried to reinvent the wheel when it comes to MMA. However, the president of Bellator has built a reputation for thinking outside the box.

Sometimes that includes working with other combat sports promotions. In 2015, Coker teamed up with GLORY Kickboxing for a “Dynamite” show, which both promotions will repeat again in 2016.

In December 2019, Coker and Bellator joined forces with former PRIDE promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara for a cross-promotion event in Japan. According to Coker, the two promotions plan to work together again to some extent in the coming months.

“We’re going to do something with RIZIN,” Coker told MMA Junkie on Friday after the Bellator 266’s ceremonial weigh-ins. “Sakakibara was here for five days, and we had this great powwow and talked about fighting (Kyoji) Horiguchi in Japan and maybe do more fighting in Japan or bring Japanese fighters to America to fight. “

With Coker seemingly ready to cross-promote, could his compatriot PFL, America’s top promotion, be an option for Bellator in the future? PFL owner Donn Davis and CEO Peter Murray both mentioned an openness to working with Coker, who likes the idea but said the feasibility is not high.

“The thing about it is that it’s open to different organizations,” Coker said. “What complicates things is when they already have an established television (okay). We have established our (agreement). Then it becomes “OK, who owns what rights? It becomes a lot of business instead of just fighting. If we could sort out all the details of the business, yes, the door is open.

If PFL or Bellator weren’t competing in the same market, or if one of them didn’t have a broadcast deal, things might be a different story. But for now, Coker is of the opinion that such a cross-promotion would not be impossible but would be difficult to execute.

“There would definitely be more hurdles than working with a Sakakibara, who doesn’t have a presence (in the US),” Coker said. “If we go there, it’s like separate businesses are operating at the same time. There are a lot of growth opportunities for them to bring the fighters here and for us to go to Japan and start fights and expand Bellator’s business there.

“If it made business sense and the time was right and (PFL) had no objections from our TV partner Showtime and it worked, I think the stars should line up. There are so many different moving parts. We are very busy. I don’t know if you know, but we are extremely busy at the moment.

Bellator 266 takes place on Saturday at the SAP Center. The main card airs on Showtime after preliminaries on MMA Junkie.


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