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Bellator Tries to Browbeat Strikeforce into Co-Promotion, Releases Increasingly Irritating/Irritated Texts to Coker


(Step one of trying to create a strategic partnership with another organization: Publicly claim CEO of other organization is a goddamned liar. That’s some Dale Carnegie shit, right there. PicProps: Connect.in.com)

We’ve got a classic (and totally stupid) media gambit on our hands here between Bellator honcho Bjorn Rebney and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker. Ever since Bellator decided that one of its primary corporate strategies would be to continually repeat the dubious claim that Eddie Alvarez is the No.1 lightweight fighter in the world, it’s been publicly pushing for a co-promotional, company vs. company show with Strikeforce. Rebney took the idea to the MMA media, saying he’d “love” for the two promotions to double-up on a pay-per-view effort featuring a bevy of cross-brand championship matches, but that Coker wasn’t calling him back about it. In response, Coker – who’s always down for totally mishandling a public relations opportunity – went on Sherdog Radio this week to say he too was interested, but denied he’d ever heard from Rebney and accused Bellator of pulling a PR stunt. Naturally, Bellator’s next move was to release what it alleges are a bunch of Rebney’s text messages to Coker. Ruh-roh.

It’s pretty easy to imagine someone in the Bellator office pumping their fist and yelling out, “Checkmate, motherfucker!” as they hit “send” on this particular email, which reportedly contained four fairly low-quality snapshots of Rebney’s texts. The images are after the jump, of course. If you squint, you can even kind of read them.



Props to Bloody Elbow for the screengrabs of those bad boys, by the way. Now, those of you who were lucky enough to follow the recent media shitstorm about how Brett Favre’s cock wound up on the internet will no doubt detect the similar and increasingly desperate tone of a man scorned in each of Rebney’s texts. Dig the over-the-top sarcasm of, "As always, I’m available at your convenience," in text No. 3. Nice, playa. Dude even offers to buy dinner in that last one.

More importantly, now that he’s outed Coker as a liar to the media, it’s pretty clear the notion of a Bellator-Strikeforce supershow (which would be cool) has about a zero percent chance of ever becoming reality. And somewhere, Dana White high-fived whatever paid lackey he keeps around to high-five him when he experiences a moment of particularly sweet personal triumph.

Frankly, even after reading Rebney’s gradual regression from interested fellow promoter to annoying psycho ex-girlfriend in these texts, it does seem like kind of a dick move for Coker to (allegedly) not respond. Even if Coker doesn’t have unlimited texts on the family cell plan he no doubt purchased for himself and Strikeforce’s four other employees, it would only take two characters to tell Rebney: “No.”

No Bjorn, I don’t want to take the substantial risk of matching my already somewhat obscure champions against your even lesser-known but just-as-dangerous champions in a PPV event. No, I don’t want to take the chance of Alvarez and Hector Lombard showing up on a future Bellator broadcast and dropping the Strikeforce belts in a trash can. No, I don’t want to subject my audience to watching Ben Askren fight. No thanks, though that free dinner sounds delightful. Your pal, Scott.

In fact, we don’t know who’s more to blame here in what amounts to yet another instance of two independent MMA promoters sabotaging what otherwise could have been a pretty cool idea. If anybody was actually serious about this in the first place, it was dumb for Rebney to essentially call Coker out in the media after not hearing back from him for, what? Five days? It was even dumber for Coker to then say he’d never been contacted by Rebney even though there are clearly (alleged) written transcripts of it. Further, it was even more dumber-er for Rebney to then make Coker look bad by putting his dirt in the street.

Great job here, everybody. And we wonder why Zuffa continues to absolutely choke the life out of the competition.

Update: Strikeforce now says Rebney has been texting Coker at an old number. Apparently Coker changed his digits and didn’t tell Bjorn. Wonder why.

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RwilsonR- November 1, 2010 at 10:09 am
I'd really like to see this happen, but I'm glad it is highlighting for everyone exactly how difficult it is to make cross-promotional events work. Still, it sounds like Rebney is being very generous with the terms.
Fried Taco- November 1, 2010 at 7:58 am
Bjorn's latest text to Coker said "Don't be scurred homie".
ReX13- November 1, 2010 at 7:20 am
LMAO @ the update. This post was full of laughs, BTW. Chad is a funny bastard, even if he does come off as the jaded, cynical type sometimes.

That said, is the "Oh, that was my old number," defense a way to save face and perhaps salvage this idea?

Pleaseohplease say yes.
stopdrinkingpee- November 1, 2010 at 1:05 am
Meh, getting treated like shit is par for the course for Scott Coker. Probably he didn't respect Bjorn until now. Rebney just saw the way M-1 deals with SF and figured he would do the same thing.

It's disappointing that Bellator doesn't seem to be handling this exciting possibility in a more intelligent way, like calling Coker's house in the middle of the night and asking, "Do you even train, dog?" Maybe after the next Gilbert Melendez title defense, Bjorn will jump into the cage and get in his face about it.
Almost North- November 1, 2010 at 12:55 am
Word on the zzzz ban. Shit's tired.
KarmaAteMyCat- October 31, 2010 at 7:31 pm
Isn't Bellator being Sued by the UFC? I mean isn't the clock ticking on the bank account they call Bellator? Oh well maybe I am wrong but I doubt it.
smiledriver- October 31, 2010 at 6:58 pm
Can we institute a CP Ban on using the zzzz on the end of Jake Shields name? I mean I think he's kinda lame too, but this thing to starting to stifle the creativity with which we call him lame and that is just not a world I want to live in.
Elentius- October 31, 2010 at 5:46 pm
I'd rather watch anyone take a shit while singing something about sitting on a toilet than watch Shields so I know you can't be serious. I do not see how this co-pro could be any good. Maybe if they merged, but WTF do I know. Anyway, I want to thank Favrerer for making me feel much better about myself... thanks Brett!!
Gladheateher- October 31, 2010 at 4:50 pm
I watched Roger get tooled by the top 155'ers in the UFC. I dont see how that made Alverez look like anything more than a gate keeper @ the top 155's in the world. Roger has always had a go for broke style, hes got an iron chin and a ton of heart. Easy fight imo, especially since Rogers lost his touch as of late.

As for the txts, those pictures dont mean shit. Just as headrusch & cecils_pupils said, anybody can fake a txt msg besides who trys to conduct a proper business via txt. Is Bjorn a 13yr old girl? Be a man and pick up the phone. Dont be scared homey.

Speaking of being a man, what kind of person slanders you in the media for not responding to a txt/fake txt. Somebody said he only waited 5 days!! rofl Bjorn time to step your game up player. If you didnt get a response after your first half ass attempt then try talking to Scott Coker, yourself. Stop playing fucking GossipGirl.
DazedNConfused- October 31, 2010 at 3:53 pm
The fans want to see it, Melendez seems to be up for it, and finally it will most likely create hype and attention for both companies. I agree Coker has more to lose being the more reputable company, but ultimately you have to please your fans and employees (with more interesting and more high profile matches).

This article was really funny by the way, you had me lol'n the whole read through, goodjob. You have helped me forget my pounding headache for a little bit.
MMADoc- October 31, 2010 at 3:44 pm
@headrusch

Agreed. While the claims may be true, those pictures prove nothing. One can easily assign any name to any number and have it appear that a text has been sent to the individual in question. That being said, it would allow for some interesting match-ups.
RSparrow- October 31, 2010 at 2:23 pm
Scott Coker is a fucking weasel....

He has no confidence in himself as President of that organization, and knows this is the kind of shit that could take Strikeforce down.

Everytime I hear the guy talk, or even look at him, I cringe almost as much as I do when I hear Nick Ring speak.
vengful1- October 31, 2010 at 2:00 pm
Sweet headband bro! *hits bong, perms hair*
Sakuraba3900- October 31, 2010 at 12:37 pm
I like how i used the bold html code on the fuck rant but it was used on the following sentence... weird.
Sakuraba3900- October 31, 2010 at 12:36 pm
Mofo has got it right

Rex IDK about Alvarez wreckin Melendez I personally think that it would be a Split decision with FOTY written all over it 2 judges to 1 for Alvarez but I bet it would go either way

FUCK THAT FIGHT WOULD BE FUCKING AMAZING! FUCKING FUCK!

sorry for that Dana-esque moment guys but I got really excited.
djp1988- October 31, 2010 at 12:32 pm
Askren is too fucking cool for this picture. Fucking hipster.
Mofo- October 31, 2010 at 11:46 am
Askren would have Diaz on his back non stop but would get subbed in second round. Triangle.

Lombard would get TKO 2nd round

Alvarez would get decision

Bellator has a lot to gain, strikeforce very little. but all these minor leagues need to put aside personal gain and band together esp after the merger
dharn- October 31, 2010 at 11:38 am
I could Easily call Eddie Alvarez the #1 155'er in the world. Who has a game he couldn't match or beat?
ReX13- October 31, 2010 at 11:20 am
Ugh. How these two completely skipped the honeymoon phase and went straight to post-breakup pettiness is disappointing, to say the least. The article would be hilarious, if it weren't so heartbreaking (for me, at least; i'm sure some of you bastards couldn't care less).

After his Huerta fight, Alvarez certainly looks top-shelf at 155, and i believe he'd wreck Melendez. Lombard would get subbed by Jacare. It really makes more sense for Askren to train with the Cesar Gracie camp than fight them; if he had an aggressive sub game he'd be something special at 170. As a pure wrestler, he's one of the few guys on the planet that could handle GSP's grappling (Rush would still tool him in an MMA match, though, so calm down).

One note: Bellator does not have a 205 pound championship.

I have no doubt that Rebney sent these texts, FWIW. Rebney has said that he's removed as many barriers to these fights as possible, including agreeing in advance to have them under the StrikeForce banner, the DREAM banner, making them non-title fights, having them go down in California, and having Alvarez compete as the masked Blue Demon VII.

Scott Coker >> You have demonstrated difficulty putting fights together for awhile now. If someone is offering you PPV gold, why are you running from it? Melendez has said a few times he's down. Get your shit together, yo.
cecils_pupils- October 31, 2010 at 10:52 am
Seems like Bellator is having an identity crisis. So Bellator is okay with being a feeder organization and now he wants to go and say that his champions are better than Strikeforce's. Learn your plance Bjorn. It's time for Bellator to realize that all their Champions plan to move on to greener pastures at some point. Accept it.

And since when has any real business been conducted via text or tweet? Pick up the phone Bjorn. Seems like Bjorn needs to take a Business Communication 101 class. Amaturish.
spladdle- October 31, 2010 at 10:19 am
Eddie Alvarez is fucking incredible. I bet he would fuck frankie edgers shit up. however Maynard might be a lil harder for him
jgrant- October 31, 2010 at 10:14 am
The Bellator champs would run house all over the SF guys.

This'll never happen because of that.
Mofo- October 31, 2010 at 10:10 am
Did u see the MMS with Rebneys cock?

[Hi fives hi five lackey]
imabigfan- October 31, 2010 at 10:09 am
whatchu takin bout, romeo?

eddie alvarez is an awesome fighter. his fight against ?hansen? from dream was flipping outstanding.
headrusch- October 31, 2010 at 10:07 am
I don't understand how those screen shots prove he sent them to Scott coker. I can put my fathers number in my phone as Scott coker if I wanted and do the same thing.
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