Rich Chou is departing as Bellator’s full-time matchmaker for a job “outside the sport,” the ViacomCBS-owned promotion announced today.
Per a separate press release, Chou has been named the vice president of Wimp 2 Warrior, a martial arts training program co-founded by famed MMA coach John Kavanagh. Chou will Chou run the program’s North American operations and “will be focused on rapidly expand W2W’s presence across the U.S. and Canada,” the release stated.
As of April 19, the longtime MMA matchmaker will also serve as a Bellator consultant with Bellator President Scott Coker and matchmaker Mike Kogan.
Chou, a Hawaii native, got his start in the MMA industry in the now-defunct Rumble on the Rock promotion before joining up with EliteXC. When the CBS-televised promotion folded and signed over assets to the now-defunct Strikeforce, he went on to work with Coker, who was then president of the California-based promotion. When Coker took the helm as president of Bellator in 2014, Chou rejoined the fold.
Chou did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the release for Wimp 2 Warrior, he said: “As MMA immerses itself in global expansion, providing an organic and interactive program to men and women to practically learn martial arts is an important step in creating the transformative journey martial arts provides.
“I am excited to further build upon Nick and John’s international success by expanding the program to be a fully realized subsidizing business partner to mixed martial arts gyms throughout the United States and Canada, while bringing in people of all ages to participate in the life-changing journey that comes with learning martial arts.”