Former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker replaces Bellator’s Bjorn Rebney
Various news sources broke the story yesterday about Viacom signing on former Elite XC and StrikeForce President Scott Coker. Speculations were made that Bellator’s founder Bjorn Rebney woud be removed from the organization.
That rumor is now official as Rebney released this official statement:
“It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce that I am leaving the company I founded,” said Rebney. “I have great pride in having turned my vision into reality, a thriving business with television distribution to over 140 countries around the world, a partnership with one of the world’s largest entertainment giants and wide array of sponsors, partners and strategic allies all over the globe.
“This has been a wonderful eight plus years of creation, development and success. I will miss the courageous, strong and dedicated fighters I have had the pleasure of promoting, and equally, I will miss the incredibly hard working, remarkable team that has become a family for me over the years. Viacom and Tim and I differed in our views of the right strategic direction for Bellator, but Tim and I both wish them well.”
When the UFC purchased StrikeForce, Scott Coker signed an additional “no compete” clause for three years. This clause expired in March 2014 and Coker is now back in the MMA world.
It is a weird twist of events how Rebney virtually built the Bellator brand, garnering the attention of Viacom, and later forced out of the organization he started from the bottom up.
What Rebney will do from here is anyone’s guess, but the interests do not stop there. How will UFC President Dana White react toward Coker now. The two have almost always been cordial and on an evening playing field. Will White seek to destruct the Bellator brand?