Bellator

Bjorn Rebney out, Scott Coker in as Bellator President

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It all began late last night with this tweet from Josh Gross.

The news would eventually be confirmed by multiple sources, and Bellator MMA would follow by confirming their parting of ways with Rebney along with the companies now former COO Tim Danaher, effective immediately.

Here is what Rebney had to say via press release:

“It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce that I am leaving the company I founded. 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.”

Spike TV President, Kevin Kay, had the following to say:

“I would like to thank Bjorn and Tim on behalf of Spike and Viacom for their dedication and hard work building Bellator from the ground up. They worked tirelessly in getting Bellator to where it is today. They were great partners to work with and we wish them all the best.”

Plenty of fighters who worked for Rebney lit up Twitter and other networks. Here are just a few of the more interesting snippets:

The speculation about who would be filling Rebney’s shoes ended with this official press release:

New York, NY, June 18, 2014 – Veteran combat sports promoter Scott Coker has been named President, Bellator MMA, effective immediately. The announcement was made today by Kevin Kay, Spike TV President, to whom he will report. In his new position, Coker, will oversee the day-to-day management of the emerging mixed martial arts franchise. Coker was Founder and former CEO of Strikeforce, which began in 1985 as a kickboxing league and developed into an MMA league in 2006.

“We are excited to have Scott Coker lead us in a new direction as we evolve the league format from a tournament-based organization to a more traditional model with big fights,” said Kay

Lastly, we give you full audio from the conference call introducing Scott Coker as the new President of Bellator MMA.

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