Bellator's Bjorn Rebney out, Scott Coker takes over

Viacom removed Bellator founder Bjorn Rebney (pictured) as chairmand and CEO and named former...

Viacom removed Bellator founder Bjorn Rebney (pictured) as chairmand and CEO and named former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker the new president. (Ben Gabbe/Getty Images/AFP/Files)

GORDON ANDERSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:03 PM ET

On Wednesday afternoon, Viacom named former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker the new president of Bellator, removing founder and former president Bjorn Rebney from the position he held for seven years.

“We are excited to have Scott Coker lead us in a new direction as we evolve the league and format from a tournament-based organization to a more traditional model with big fights,” Spike TV president Kevin Kay said in a statement.

Strikeforce was founded by Coker in 1985, and under his tutelage, the kick-boxing organization evolved into the second-largest mixed-martial arts outfits in the world before it was sold to Zuffa in 2011.

Coker is expected to “oversee the day-to-day management of the emerging mixed-martial arts franchise.”

A number of fighters took to Twitter to express their thoughts over the decision.

“I’m going to miss fighting for Bjorn Rebney,” Bellator middleweight Brennan Ward said on his Twitter account. “Dude always treated me right! Lets see what the future holds.”


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