As the promotion’s president, Scott Coker has his hands full with Bellator MMA but that doesn’t mean he isn’t watching what else is going on in the business of combat sports.
Bellator 257 continues the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix and is pretty well stacked for SHOWTIME Friday night, but Triller Fight Club is hosting Ben Askren versus Jake Paul’s boxing match and the longtime promoter was asked for his thoughts on the event.
Coker told MMA Junkie, “I should have a ‘no comment’ because Ben got mad at me last time. He was upset that I said what I said, but I will tell you, I’ve been watching him online, and he looks like he’s getting better and better. Listen, I’m rooting for him because he’s the MMA guy and so to me, I’m rooting for him when he fights on Saturday.”
Coker is referring to comments made about Askren’s wrestling not being much help in a boxing match. While that may be true, Askren is still more tested in combat sports competitions which could help him come Saturday night. However, these crossover events have been compared to celebrity boxing and Coker had some thoughts on the model as well. “When I look at the entertainment aspect of their shows, listen, I think it’s great. I watched that first Tyson fight, I was entertained. I thought they did a good job, and if I want to watch ‘sportainment,’ that’s where I’ll watch it.”
Coker added that for true competitive boxing, fans know where to watch it but for something like what Triller is doing, ” I’m a fan. I buy it, and to me, there’s nothing wrong with it. But I think people just have to realize it is what it is. It’s fun.”
Given the history that Scott Coker has with SHOWTIME, and the marketing fans have seen for boxing and MMA since Bellator moved to the network, a boxing and MMA feature will likely be on SHOWTIME in the future. One thing is no secret, Coker is a fight fan but he’s probably not adding any Youtubers to the roster anytime soon.
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 20 years martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour, and also writes for Sherdog while maintaining his own site, The Blogboard Jungle. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel