<div class="Article" style="float: left;"> <table> <tr style="vertical-align: bottom;"> <td> <h3><a href="/go=news.detail&gid=291689" target="_blank"> Coker: We're all one, big, happy family now </a></h3> </td> </tr> </table> <a href="/go=news.detail&gid=291689" ><img class="photo" src="http://img.mixedmartialarts.com/method=get&rs=50&q=75&x=155&y=268&w=310&h=165&ro=0&s=scott-coker-fedor-emelianeko.jpg" /></a> <strong class="ArticleSource">[mmafighting.com]</strong> <div style="clear: both; line-height: 1px;height: 1px;"> </div> </div> <blockquote>
Mike Chiappetta: A tournament like this is ambitious and quite challenging. Why did you decide to do it?
Scott Coker: When we were in the process of collecting all these heavyweights, and signing these top 10 guys, the only fighter we really had to extend was Fedor, which as you know took a long time. I went to Showtime with this plan about 3 months ago. I saw what they did with the Super Six tournament in boxing. I thought it was a great format and definitely made some more stars in the boxing world. They definitely created more hype and more stars in that sport. I thought it'd be a good way for USA fans to get to know some of these top heavyweights that we have fighting, like [Sergei] Kharitonov, like having Josh [Barnett] back in America. It's a great way to unveil it and roll it out.
And I came from a background in K-1 where we did tournaments all the time. Take it back even further than that; If you grew up in a martial arts school, whether it was judo, jiu-jitsu, karate, taekwondo, the first time you ever compete is in a tournament. We thought it made sense on a lot of levels. Now we get to see it roll out, and we're going to see some amazing fights over the next months.
MC: Will Overeem's belt be on the line in the early rounds? If Werdum beats Overeem, will he be considered the champion? Or will the belt be vacated for this tournament? How will that work?
SC: It goes back to the commission and what they're going to allow us to do. That's something I can't answer right now but hope to have an answer very soon.
MC: Did the added wrinkle of putting Fedor in this tournament and having his commitment add a big degree of difficulty into the negotiations?
SC: You know what's admirable about these guys, including Fedor? They wanted to be in the tournament. They came to us and said we want to be in it. I said, 'OK, fantastic.' And we made it happen.
Believe me, he was trying to talk us into letting him fight on the Jan. 29 card. I said, 'Fedor, I think you'll be OK two weeks later.'"
MC: Does that mean you've seen him recently?
SC: No, but we've been talking to the M-1 folks, and we're all one, big, happy family now.