Bellator MMA President Scott Coker has detailed why his promotion allows fighters to source sponsors for their fight shorts themselves.
While the highly contentious discussion of fighter compensation continues to exist at the top of the mixed martial arts surface, the discussion of the allocation of combat gear sponsors has remained a split opinion.
Although the likes of heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou have criticized the UFC for preventing athletes from wearing sponsors on their gear since the start of its exclusive partnership with Reebok, Chael Sonnen recently defended the promotion.
According to ‘The American Gangster’, past leniency was an unnecessary level of generosity on the part of the UFC, which has now created a misconception about what is the norm.
One organization where debate is unnecessary, however, is Bellator. When fighting under its banner, athletes are free to stock up and wear sponsors on their shorts.
And for the head of promotion, the decision to allow roster members to do so is practically a no-brainer.
Coker follows the “Let them earn their money” mindset
During an interview on MMA hour with journalist Ariel Helwaniwho has long spoken out against the UFC and PFL for preventing short sponsors, Coker explained why Bellator takes a different policy than other major North American promotions.
Acknowledging the longevity or lack of a fighting career, the 60-year-old former Strikeforce CEO suggested there was no reason for him to stifle income from athletes during their days in the fight. sport.
“Basically these guys are in a position where they can make their money over a number of years. So, for me, let them make their money,” Coker said. “It’s the same reason we let fighters go to fight bare-knuckle, or fighters go to fight in Rizin. Look, if you have an opportunity, come and we’ll sit down and talk about it. If it makes sense, then let’s do it.
“Fighter sponsors, to me, is a bit of a question… it feels old school, and you know what? It’s okay with me. I think it looks like it was supposed to go back in the day. So for me, I don’t have a problem with that,” Coker added. “They maybe have a bit more freedom here than in other leagues.”
As Coker mentioned, the short sponsor allowance isn’t the only unique freedom Bellator offers its fighters. They’re also able to compete outside of the promotion’s banner if a logical opportunity arises, as was the case with welterweight Michael Page’s recent bare-knuckle boxing clash with Mike Perry at BKFC.
This story originally appeared on MMANews.com. Please provide transcript credit with a link to this article if you use any of these citations.
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