Bloody Elbow Exclusive: Scott Coker Welcomes UFC to Northern California, Calls Saturday's Event a win for Fans

This morning, Bloody Elbow asked Strikeforce President Scott Coker for his thoughts on the UFC running an event in Northern California, which is traditionally Strikeforce's backyard.  Scott Coker released the following statement exclusively to Bloody Elbow:

This weekend, UFC is headed to Oakland, California, and I want to welcome them to the area.  

Since 2006, when Strikeforce put on the first regulated event in California history and broke the standing record for largest audience at an MMA event in the U.S., we have helped build a huge fan-base in the state.  By holding great live events with high-profile matchups featuring Fedor, Cris Cyborg, Frank Shamrock, Nick Diaz, Gina Carano and more, we've exposed thousands of new fans in California to this great sport.

Our Bay Area MMA fans have come to expect dramatic, thrilling live fights, and I'm sure they won't be disappointed with the card the UFC has put together for Oakland this weekend.

Whether it's put on by STRIKEFORCE or another promotion, any time fans get access to live MMA action in the state, it's a win for the sport.  Over the least few years, we've seen huge growth in the MMA fan-base, and we're excited to see any events that will continue that growth.  This is an amazing sport that requires discipline, focus, endurance and incredible skill, and it's great to see so many new fans embrace it.

On behalf of STRIKEFORCE and our Bay Area fans, we welcome the UFC and the talented fighters on this Saturday's Card to Northern California.

-- photo via allelbows.com

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