Scott Coker Rejected Offer from PFL

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Scott Coker and the world of combat sports share a bond akin to that of a seasoned pair of shoes – they just fit. It’s difficult to imagine the landscape of MMA without Coker’s presence; his absence feels almost unnatural.

So, when Coker wasn’t among the Bellator crew transitioning to the PFL after the recent sale, it raised a few eyebrows. People began to wonder why the head of Bellator didn’t make the move, or at least what his next move might entail.

Now, the veil has been lifted, revealing Coker’s decision to remain in the MMA realm with a brand-new venture called Fight Night at the Tech. Scheduled to debut on May 18 at the Tech CU Arena in San Jose, California, this event marks a significant step forward for Coker. He will serve as an executive producer, collaborating closely with former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.

Coker emphasized that the allure of being his own boss again played a pivotal role in his choice not to join the PFL.

In an interview with MMA Junkie Radio, Coker expressed his enthusiasm for this new endeavor and the freedom it offers. For Coker, it’s not just about staying in the MMA game – it’s about charting his own path and shaping the future of the sport.

“I’ll tell you honestly: I thought about it. The opportunity was there. But how I felt was, it’s time to go. It’s time for me, for myself, to be an entrepreneur. I love that the most. I worked for Viacom and Paramount for nine years (as Bellator president). It was a great experience. I’m glad I did it. Paramount was very good to me. I learned a lot over there. But I’m an entrepreneur at heart. It’s really the first job (working for someone other than myself) I took as an adult.”

Following Bellator’s acquisition by the PFL, many of its fighters migrated to the new promotion, alongside certain executives and staff members. However, others opted for different directions, whether by choice or due to not being retained by the PFL.

Coker’s tenure as the face of Bellator spanned from June 2014 until the finalization of the PFL’s acquisition in November 2023. Prior to leading Bellator, Coker served as the CEO of Strikeforce, which he founded back in 1985. The promotion was acquired by the UFC in 2011.

Despite his deep-rooted connections with Bellator’s success, Coker had long prepared for the possibility of the promotion being sold, knowing full well the direction he would likely pursue in such a scenario.

“I worked hard. I think we built some great value in that company. “When Strikeforce built, it had value. Somebody wanted to come buy it. When Bellator built, it had value. Somebody wanted to come buy it. This is something that is natural in business. But I always felt like if they sold the company one day, I always told myself I would go back and be an entrepreneur – and that’s really what I wanted to do.”

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