In the last couple months, we have seen many changes to Bellator MMA. The biggest move for the promotion was the firing of former president Bjorn Rebney and the subsequent hiring of former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker to replace him.
Coker was successful in his time with Strikeforce, creating a respected and entertaining promotion. He now attempts to do the same with Bellator, giving the company a new beginning. Since his hiring, the promotion has added a new women’s featherweight (145 lbs.) which could spur some very interesting possibilities in terms of potential signings and match-ups.
Coker is not stopping there, however. As most of us suspected, Bellator will be restructuring their events and moving away from their original tournament format. MMAJunkie.com spoke with Coker about his plans for Bellator’s future:
“In 2015, Bellator will shift from its usual format (two 12 week seasons and a trio of “Summer Series” events) to one event per month. That’s going to be our season. We’re going to do 16 instead of 26, but the fights will be much larger, and the venues will have time to promote and really make it an event and not just a weekly show.”
Coker also confirmed that he will reserve the right to hold a tournament if the situation is fitting:
“I want to keep these options open. We’re going to make a decision when the time’s right.”
It seems like Bellator could be moving in the right direction. As proven by other promotions, monthly shows are what fans want. The tournament or season style that Bellator formerly ran could be rather confusing at times.
Bellator will now be providing fights less frequently, but the fights will be bigger and there will be more “super fights”. The president also confirmed that the majority of these shows will be presented on Spike TV rather than pay-per-view (PPV):
“To me, I think that we should be on Spike TV and building the next wave of stars in front of 100 million households,” he said. “There will be a time probably in the future where we can definitely go back to the PPV business, but for the foreseeable future, I see us as a Spike property.
We’re going to put on the best fights we can put on, and we’re going to put on fights that the fans want to see. I think you might see a tournament at some point in 2015, but right now, I’m not ready to commit to that. But we’re going to see some big events and big fights, and fights that are going to move the needle.”
Although the promotion may lack “big names” according to fans, Bellator definitely has me intrigued. It will be interesting to see if Bellator can become as entertaining and fun to watch as Coker believes.
Does the switch in structure from tournaments to monthly shows interest you? Will you begin tuning into Bellator in the near future?
Stay tuned to LowKickMMA.com for the most up-to-date news regarding Bellator’s next move.