UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Longtime Bellator matchmaker Rich Chou is stepping down.
Following a six-year stint with the promotion, Chou accepted a new role as the vice president of North American operations for Wimp 2 Warrior (W2W), a company founded by SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh.
Bellator 257 on Friday will be Chou’s final event as a matchmaker before he assumes his new role Monday.
According to Bellator Public Relations, Chou will remain with the promotion in some capacity as a consultant. Bellator president Scott Coker and matchmaker Mike Kogan will continue to head the promotion’s efforts of recruiting, signing, and matchmaking.
W2W is self-described as “the world’s leading MMA training program for beginners, designed by professionals.” Numerous mainstream gyms including SBG Ireland, Tristar, Xtreme Couture, AKA, and LAW MMA partake in the program.
“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,” Chou said in a statement Thursday. “I am excited to further build upon (W2W’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 lifechanging journey that comes with learning martial arts.”
Chou, who is officially titled the “Vice President of Talent Relations for Bellator MMA,” has worked for the promotion since July 2014.
Chou graduated from Pepperdine University graduate with a degree in Communications and Business Administration and began training Brazilian jiu-jitsu while he was attending college. Following graduation, he relocated to Honolulu, Hawaii with the intention of becoming a professional mixed martial artist.
In 2002, Chou fought took the only professional fight of his career, unanimous-decision loss to Nick Bradley under the SuperBrawl banner, though he also competed in numerous grappling tournaments and refereed over 100 MMA bouts in Hawaii.
In 2004, Chou took on matchmaking responsibilities for “Rumble on the Rock.” He served in a similar role for EliteXC in 2007 and 2008. His work with Coker extends past Bellator and dates back to 2009 when he was hired as the matchmaker for Strikeforce, where he worked until 2012.