Coker Reflects on Promoting with Zuffa


Scott Coker (above) countered the belief that the UFC plans on absorbing Strikeforce. | Photo: Dave Mandel


Now that Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has had the chance to promote under the Zuffa banner, he is confident that he made the right decision to sell his company to the UFC owners.

“I’m glad it’s all moving forward and people can see the fights are still going to happen, that I’m still running Strikeforce and we’re going to have a contract with Showtime still,” Coker said recently during a “Savage Dog Show” interview. “People say it’s not business as usual, but really, if you watched the telecast on Saturday night, it looked like business as usual. There might be some changes in the back, but at the end of the day, I love promoting fights and I get to continue promoting fights.”

Coker was referring to the April 9 Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Daley” card, which featured a thrilling main event between Nick Diaz and Paul Daley. Although the Showtime telecast looked like a typical Strikeforce event, Coker appreciated the help Zuffa provided backstage.

“It’s nice to have a big staff working toward one goal,” he said. “In the past we had a smaller staff. Our smaller staff was obviously very good. It’s just that the Zuffa machine has a lot more people, a lot more marketing, a lot more PR, a lot more bodies around in the back. Believe me, they do it right. I think that where we had to cut some corners in the past, they don’t need to do that. They’re on top of everything. They have a great system.”

The sale to Zuffa came after Coker’s partners at Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment decided to exit the MMA business.

“For [Silicon Valley Sports] it was just a business deal,” Coker explained. “For me it was something that I had a lot more passion behind. … When I think of Strikeforce, it’s like your baby. You grew it, and you’re seeing it grow up. But at the end of the day, it is a business. … When you take the emotion out of it, it made a lot of sense. It made good business sense to do it.”

Coker also countered the belief that the UFC plans on absorbing Strikeforce. He said he expects Strikeforce to succeed at a level where merging will not make sense.

“That’s what I believe,” Coker said. “My goal is to make [Strikeforce] as profitable as I can and make it such a rich venture that they’ll keep it going for many years to come.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:09:55).

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