On 18 June 2014, founder and former CEO of Strikeforce, Scott Coker was announced as the new president of Bellator MMA. The company had been around since 2008, but had previously just done a seasonal, single-elimination tournament, instead of larger, individual monthly events.
Coker made the change to monthly events beginning in January 2015, but also went out of his way to sign bigger name talent, most of whom last competed for the UFC, in order to increase the brand name. The 54-year-old specifically targeted certain UFC stars that wanted a fresh change of scenery due to contract disputes and who were looking to test free agency, such as Rory MacDonald and Ryan Bader. Coker’s signings over the past two-and-a-half years for Bellator have seen its popularity make an increase, as well resulted in a pay-per-view this past June.
While there were a number of talented athletes already on the roster, the following ten have quickly provided Bellator with a more well-rounded array of talent, and have also given the company a massive surge of momentum ever since Coker took over.