Sean Wheelock, who was the longtime Bellator play-by-play man, is no longer with the promotion after his contract was not renewed back in July. Spike TV choose to have Sean Grande, the radio voice of the Boston Celtics, take his place.
In an a recent interview with MMA Fighting.com, Wheelock cleared up some rumors about his departure from the promotion. Wheelock claimed that Bellator MMA President Scott Coker did not make the choice of not re-signing him, but it was a Spike TV choice.
A decision that might make some people surprised. Wheelock had been with Bellator working with color commentator Jimmy Smith since 2010 back when Bellator was on FOX Sports Net. After working 127 events together, it was all over.
The promotion kept Smith on board when they brought in Sean Grande.
“I have nothing but good memories with Bellator,” Wheelock said. “I consider Scott Coker to be a friend, and I think he’s a great guy. It wasn’t his call. Scott Coker isn’t involved in TV. Ultimately, the decision not to renew my contract and for them, as they told me, to go in a different direction comes from executives and senior management at Spike.”
Prior to Coker joining the promotion, former Bellator MMA President Bjorn Reney was the man in charge.
“I think the world of Bjorn,” Wheelock said. “He always had my back. He always was complimentary. He was always kind.
“Bellator was Bjorn’s vision, brought to life by his sheer will, tenacity and focus on excellence across every aspect of the business.”
In closing, Wheelock knows that Coker did not make the decision, and he is okay with that.
“It’s my understanding that Scott Coker had nothing to do with this. This was a Spike decision not to renew my contract. I would have happily renewed. I adored Bellator.”