Following Eddie Alvarez’s virtual domination of Roger Huerta last night, both Eddie and his promoter, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, said the same thing in regards to the potential lightweight superfight with Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez — Scott Coker doesn’t want it to happen.
“Scott Coker doesn’t want it to happen. He’s trying to obviously protect his champion. I guess he has every right to. He has a business to run, so whatever… I want to be number one in the world, and the only way to do that is to fight people like Gilbert. If we can get our hands on him and the contracts work out, then that’s what we’ll do. But until then, it’s just talk. The paper’s gotta be signed. Let’s make it happen.”
“There aren’t promotional issues. There aren’t any barriers to entry. There aren’t any hurdles… What television network is it going to be on? We’ll do it on Showtime. Where will the fight happen? Well, let’s do it in San Jose. The answers to the questions are very simple… There’s no reason that fight shouldn’t happen but for the fact that the promoter of Gilbert Melendez doesn’t want it to occur.”
Considering Coker’s relative lack of enthusiasm on the topic, Alvarez and Rebney are probably right, though it’s not hard to see why. Strikeforce certainly stands to lose more than Bellator if the fight were to ever take place. The last thing Strikeforce needs or wants at the moment is for a smaller organization’s champion to come in and beat their champion in front of their audience.
However, if you’re going to run an open business model like Strikeforce does, you should be willing to take the bad with the good. Big champion vs. champion fights like this is exactly what co-promotion is supposed to be about. Strikeforce needs to make this fight happen.