Scott Coker and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
If Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has been trying to reach Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, he might have the wrong number.
At the Bellator 34 postfight news conference Thursday, Rebney continued his public plea for Coker to get back to him regarding a co-promotional bout between Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez and Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez. Rebney said he has sent Coker a “dozen different text messages and voicemail messages” since Oct. 21.
However, during a “Savage Dog Show” interview Friday on the Sherdog Radio Network, Coker denied receiving any text messages.
“Bjorn’s saying he’s texting me 11, 12 times an hour. I’m not sure if he’s trying to be a level-five clinger or anything like that, but I haven’t received one text from the guy,” Coker said. “I’m not sure what the motivation is, but maybe it’s just his way of staying in the media, staying in the press.”
Rebney has been pushing for an Alvarez-Melendez matchup ever since Melendez mentioned the fight on HDNet. Alvarez joined in recently, saying Coker was blocking the bout in an attempt to protect his lightweight titleholder.
“Let’s face it: Gilbert’s fought everybody,” Coker responded Friday. “He beat the guy that Eddie lost to. For them to say, ‘Oh, Gilbert’s ducking him’ -- come on, let’s be real. Gilbert has ducked nobody, and neither has Eddie. These are two great fighters. The thing is, if Bjorn’s serious about doing this, then there has to be a business component that has to be worked out. Unfortunately that hasn’t started yet. It’s just been a bunch of stuff in the media. He’s chosen the media to use it as a platform to try to push this thing along, but I think it’s maybe a PR move.”
Coker explained that he understands why Bellator wants the matchup, but he questions Rebney’s motives for lobbying publicly.
“It’s very obvious to me he’s using the media as a platform to try to do his business, but that’s not how we’re going to do business,” Coker said. “If he wants to do business, call me or fly out here, come sit down with me. If there’s a deal to be made, we’ll try to make it, but I’m not going to do it in the media. That’s for sure.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:43:58) with Scott Coker, who also discussed Gina Carano and Strikeforce’s relationship with CBS.