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Scott Coker interested in outcome of UFC class-action lawsuit, says Bellator is not a ‘minor league’

Bellator CEO Scott Coker discusses the UFC class action lawsuit levied against the promotion several weeks ago and why he does not appreciate Bellator being labeled as a ‘minor league’ within the court documents.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Less than two weeks ago,'s John S. Nash and Brent Brookhouse uncovered the news that several high profile fighters had filed a class action antitrust lawsuit against the UFC worth $100 million. Within the lawsuit, the UFC is accused of sponsorship control to monopolistic control of the market by buying of competitors to lessen a fighter's likeness.

Since then, Nash has discovered two more class action lawsuits filed against the UFC, both nearly identical to the original one. Following the first one, Le et al v Zuffa, LLC, with Cung Le, Nathan Quarry, and Jon Fitch as named plaintiffs, another one was submitted on December 22nd, with Luis Javier Vaquez and Dennis Lloyd Hallman as the named plaintiffs. The third one was filed right on Christmas Eve and featured Brandon Vera and Pablo Garza as named plaintiffs.

In the initial filing, Bellator was mentioned several times as a "minor league" that was inconvenienced by the effects of the UFC's dominance in the market. It claimed that the promotion's fighters lacked "public notoriety" and suffered because of it.

While CEO Scott Coker revealed that he had not read the document or watched the press conference stream, he was disappointed with his promotion's label as a "minor league."

"Labeling a league based on the past can be misleading, because the fighters that are here today fighting for us are gonna be the next Luke Rockholds, the next Daniel Cormiers," Coker told "They're going to be the next stars of MMA.

"Do I think Bellator is a minor league?" Coker said. "The answer is no."

The antitrust filings suggest that the UFC introduced counter-competitive methods to expand and become a monopoly, thus limiting the bargaining power of fighters looking to renegotiate their contracts.

Coker, however, thinks this is simply not the case in the MMA landscape.

"In today's marketplace, it sure is a lot better to have two leagues that can afford you and pay for you," Coker said. "Now you have a second bidder in the marketplace. Before, I think after Strikeforce was bought out, it kind of became a one-promotion bidding opportunity. Now that there's two, it's going to make the fighters much happier and the managers much happier."

Transcription taken from

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