Bellator President Scott Coker thinks interim welterweight champion Logan Storley could’ve done more in his win at Bellator 281.
Storley defeated Michael Venom Page via split decision in the Bellator 281 headliner. He won with his wrestling and was able to survive barrages from Page on the feet to secure the victory.
But Storley’s approach to his win over Page didn’t go without criticism. Many fans and pundits questioned the final scorecards due to Storley’s reluctance to put out offense after scoring takedowns.
During his Bellator 281 post-fight press conference, Coker explained why he feels Storley did a disservice to the viewing audience.
“Honestly, I think Logan has some improvement to do myself too,” Coker said of Storley. “You can’t just lay on somebody and think you’re gonna win and score points, that’s not MMA, that’s wrestling. To me, if you’re gonna wrestle, you have to continue to wrestle and then try to submit, ground-and-pound, strike.
“There’s a difference between what you see on the wrestling mat and what you see in the cage. To me, all these fighters…. they’re at the very highest level of what they do. But, they owe it to themselves, they owe it to the audience, to the fans… to continue to get better at the disciplines that they’re not strong in.”
Coker went on to answer how he scored the Storley vs. Page headliner.
“I thought [Page] won that fight,” Coker revealed. “The reason I say that… Half of the round, he was striking. The other half, you can’t just lay on somebody. You’re not doing any damage, you’re not getting close to a submission, you’re not creating any threat. You’re just laying on somebody, and that’s not MMA.”
Storley earned a shot for the interim title after welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov pulled out of his fight with Page to fight on the front lines in Ukraine. Page earned the title shot by defeating Douglas Lima via a split decision.
Despite Coker’s criticism, Storley will face Amosov at a later date in a rematch of their close fight at Bellator 252. The former Division I wrestling standout will look to bring a more well-rounded game to the champion in his next Bellator appearance.
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