Luke Thomas speaks with Bellator CEO Scott Coker:
“I think it’s been really good for our business, honestly. Fighters want the freedom to get their own sponsors. They just want the freedom.
“This is the deal, I know fighters, big-name fighters, that say ‘Hey, I had million-dollar sponsors. Now I have $40,000 every time I fight or $20,000 every time I fight.’ All that sponsorship went away. And these are big names over there.”
It’s a base that’s been run before, but it certainly bears repeating that the UFC Reebok Deal took away huge leverage from MMA fighters.
Exposure on Bellator isn’t going to bring sponsorship money back, but that market being almost completely gone certainly doesn’t help UFC retain talent either.