Bellator vs. PFL? Scott Coker weighs in on potential cross-promotion – and its obstacles

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Scott Coker has never tried to reinvent the wheel when it comes to MMA. However, the Bellator president has built a reputation of thinking outside the box. Sometimes this includes working with other combat sports promotions. In 2015, Coker joined forces with GLORY Kickboxing for a “Dynamite” show, something the two promotions would 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 expect to work together again in some capacity in the coming months. “We’re going to do something with RIZIN,” Coker told MMA Junkie on Friday after the Bellator 266 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 doing more fights in Japan or having the Japanese fighters coming to America to fight.” With Coker seemingly willing to cross-promote, could fellow top American promotion PFL be an option for Bellator in the future? Both PFL owner Donn Davis and CEO Peter Murray have mentioned an openness to working with Coker, who likes the idea but indicated the feasibility isn’t high. “The thing about it is that it’s open to different organizations,” Coker said. “The thing that complicates it is when they already have an established TV (deal). We have our established (deal). Then it becomes, ‘OK, who owns what rights?’ It becomes a lot of business instead of just fighting. If we could work out all the business details, yeah, the door’s open.” After years of dabbling in MMA, NCAA champ Jesse Delgado finally ready for pro debut at Bellator 266Yoel Romero opens up on eye injury that delayed Bellator debut, says 'best decision was not to fight' If PFL or Bellator weren’t competing in the same market, or if one did not have a broadcast deal, things might be a different story. But for now, Coker is of the opinion that such a cross-promotion wouldn’t be impossible but would be difficult to execute. “There definitely would be more obstacles than working with a Sakakibara, who doesn’t have a presence (in the United States),” Coker said. “If we go there, it’s like separate businesses running 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 throw fights and expand Bellator’s business there. “If it made business sense and the timing was right and (PFL) didn’t have any objections from our television partner Showtime and it worked out, I think the stars would have to align. There are so many different moving parts. We’re very busy. I don’t know if you know this, but we’re extremely busy right now.” Bellator 266 takes place Saturday at SAP Center. The main card airs on Showtime after prelims on MMA Junkie. Gallery Photos: Bellator 266 ceremonial weigh-ins and faceoffs view 24 images

Bellator vs. PFL? Scott Coker weighs in on potential cross-promotion – and its obstacles

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

Sometimes this includes working with other combat sports promotions. In 2015, Coker joined forces with GLORY Kickboxing for a “Dynamite” show, something the two promotions would 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 expect to work together again in some capacity in the coming months.

“We’re going to do something with RIZIN,” Coker told MMA Junkie on Friday after the Bellator 266 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 doing more fights in Japan or having the Japanese fighters coming to America to fight.”

With Coker seemingly willing to cross-promote, could fellow top American promotion PFL be an option for Bellator in the future? Both PFL owner Donn Davis and CEO Peter Murray have mentioned an openness to working with Coker, who likes the idea but indicated the feasibility isn’t high.

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

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

“There definitely would be more obstacles than working with a Sakakibara, who doesn’t have a presence (in the United States),” Coker said. “If we go there, it’s like separate businesses running 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 throw fights and expand Bellator’s business there.

“If it made business sense and the timing was right and (PFL) didn’t have any objections from our television partner Showtime and it worked out, I think the stars would have to align. There are so many different moving parts. We’re very busy. I don’t know if you know this, but we’re extremely busy right now.”

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

like

dislike

love

funny

angry

sad

wow