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Coker Has an Unlikely Ally

Written by Tom Ngo
February 27th, 2009
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UFC president Dana White has never shied away from a microphone when given the opportunity to slight his competition. However with Strikeforce’s recent acquisition of ProElite’s assets, oddly, the brash promoter had nothing but good things to say about his biggest domestic rival.

“I’m sure they’re going to put on some good shows, and hopefully, they can make that business model work for them,” White recently told USA Today. “I’ve got nothing negative to say about them whatsoever.”

Strikeforce founder and CEO Scott Coker and White have had a great relationship over the years. White was only 16-years-old when they first met, Coker was promoting kickboxing at the time.

“This sport needs more guys like Scott Coker,” White added. “He puts on a good show and I think if you talked to his fighters about him, they’d all have good things to say.”

The UFC is clearly MMA’s monopoly, however Strikeforce’s recent dealings with ProElite, Showtime and ultimately CBS will make some sort of dent into White’s market. However, Coker doesn’t imagine their relationship would ever deteriorate to the point that they would be fighting like little schoolgirls.

“Oh, not at all,” responded Coker.

Coker did state that he has not spoken to White since news broke regarding Strikeforce’s groundbreaking moves, however he has heard that White and Co. are happy for them.

“No, I haven’t spoken to Dana,” he responded when asked if he had heard from White. “However, I have spoken to some people that have spoken to him and there’s no reason for anything to change. They have a lot of respect for us that we know what we’re doing and the feeling is vice versa.”

White feels that Coker knows what he is doing. His previous beefs have only been with the fly-by-night MMA organizations that are just in it to make a quick buck.

Based on Coker’s resume and blueprint, that clearly is not the case with Strikeforce.

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