When asked about a cross-promotional lightweight fight between Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, Scott Coker always has the same answer — we’re interested but there are a lot of obstacles to negotiate such as television, date, venue and money. Well, according to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, all the issues Coker lists are non-issues.
“There’s nothing in the way of the Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez fighting,” he said. “We’re happy to do it on any network. We’re happy to do it in any venue. And we’re happy to do it on any date.”
Asked who would broadcast the show, where it might take place and how purses would be divided, Rebney said he would be willing to let the fight air on Showtime, take place in Strikeforce’s home base of San Jose, California and address the money situation.
“I have a lot of respect for [Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker],” Rebney said. “He’s a good guy and he puts on great shows. He packs arenas and puts on good cards. But Scott has been saying, ‘Well there’s a lot of issues.’ There really aren’t. If Eddie beats Roger Huerta, the only issues are Scott saying yes.”
Well, it looks like the ball is back in Scott Coker’s court. We’ll have to wait and see what kind of response he comes up, but Rebney has plenty to keep himself busy in the meantime. He’s well aware of how difficult it can be to follow Bellator events when their live shows are always being preempted by baseball, hockey and other sports on FSN, and says he’s currently hard at work securing a new television deal that would guarantee live broadcasts of their events in time for the start of their fourth season in February.