(“She might move on to rappers and ballplayers, but we all know I [promoted] it first.” Photo via Esther Lin/Strikeforce)
A week after being named the new president of Bellator MMA, Scott Coker released an open letter to fans yesterday, laying out his vision for the promotion’s future in broad strokes. Check it out below, followed by some brief analysis…
Dear Bellator Nation*,
I wanted to take a moment and tell you all how excited I am to be a part of the Bellator family. I’ve been working closely with the incredible team here along with our partners at Spike to see how we are going to bring this great company to new heights.
My first order of business is to take a look at the Bellator roster and determine all the exciting possibilities that are in store for the future. Our goal is to make every Bellator event feel BIG and special** which is a huge win for fighters, advertisers, and of course — and most importantly — you, the fans. I’ve been on the phone with dozens of fighters and to hear the excitement in their voices has been incredibly encouraging.***
I know there are so many questions about what changes may be in store for Bellator. While we are still very early in the process of executing on our long term vision, the plan is simple. We want to put on the most entertaining events possible for YOU. We want Bellator to be a first-choice destination for the best fighters in the world and we want our events to showcase the fun side of the sport**** — the personality and showmanship that makes MMA so entertaining. This is the best sport in the world and we want our events to demonstrate that for all to see.
We’ve got a ton of work to do, and July 25th is right around the corner. We’ll have more updates in the coming weeks, and I can’t wait to see all of you on Spike TV and at Pechanga in July.
** This is the most important line of Coker’s letter. Promising that every Bellator event will feel “BIG and special” is both a response to Bellator’s previous regime — in which weekly events were methodically rolled out, often with very little star power at the top — and a subtle dig at the UFC, which now puts on so many events itself that each card is beginning to feel indistinguishable from the last one.
*** Keep in mind that the “excitement” Coker refers to mostly comes from the Bellator roster’s general hatred of Bjorn Rebney.
**** I am cautiously psyched about this. Is Tito Ortiz vs. Kimbo Slice a good fight? No. Would I rather watch Tito vs. Kimbo than, say, any of Bellator’s previous heavyweight title fights? Obviously. Considering that “the fun side of the sport” is CagePotato’s bread-and-butter, we look forward to all the stunt-fights, choreographed walkouts, and absurd fight-promos to come in the Coker era. Bring it on.