Khabib Teases Cross-Promotion Bout Between Fedor and Junior dos Santos

Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to pair with Bellator President Scott Coker to book a fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Junior dos Santos. Nurmagomedov has brought a lot of new talent to his Eagle FC promotion, as he’ll showcase this weekend at Eagle FC 47. The main event will feature a matchup between newly signed former UFC…

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Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to pair with Bellator President Scott Coker to book a fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Junior dos Santos.

Nurmagomedov has brought a lot of new talent to his Eagle FC promotion, as he’ll showcase this weekend at Eagle FC 47. The main event will feature a matchup between newly signed former UFC fighters Yorgan De Castro and Dos Santos.

Dos Santos signed with Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC following four straight losses in the UFC Octagon. Despite his recent struggles, he could be on his way to getting a potential super fight against Emelianenko.

During the Eagle FC 47 pre-fight press conference, Nurmagomedov shared his big plans for Dos Santos.

“If Dos Santos win, I really want to make Dos Santos vs. Fedor fight,” Nurmagomedov said. “But he has to focus on Yorgan for next, because this fighter here is tough opponent. I want to talk with my friend, Scott Coker, because Fedor is under Bellator contract. I don’t know what they’re gonna do next with him, but definitely we can talk, and we can do something. We can create some story.

“Why not? These two guys was long time the face of MMA. Fedor was the greatest fighter of all time in my opinion, and Dos Santos was heavyweight champion a couple years in UFC. These two guys, I think they deserve and fans deserve. For me, it’s a very interesting matchup, too.” (h/t MMA Junkie)

Emelianenko is planning his last fight for later this year, but Coker has revealed that it won’t take place in Moscow, RU amidst the invasion of Ukraine. Emelianenko most recently defeated Tim Johnson in his return at Bellator 269 last October.

After getting word of Nurmagomedov’s comments, Coker responded on Twitter.

“Thanks for the call [Khabib],” Coker replied to Nurmagomedov. Looking forward to sitting down next week, dinner’s on you.”

Depending on how things play out at Eagle FC 47 this weekend, we could be on the verge of seeing a cross-promotional battle between dos Santos and Emelianenko, two of the best heavyweights in MMA history.

What are your thoughts on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s plans to cross-promote with Bellator?

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Scott Coker Criticizes Logan Storley’s Win: “You Can’t Just Lay On Somebody”

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…

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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.

How did you score Logan Storley vs. Michael Venom Page?

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Scott Coker Says Open Scoring Should Be Considered For Bellator

Bellator President Scott Coker says that open scoring is something that should be considered for Bellator. This comes after a contentious decision occurred last week in Bellator 277’s main event as Patrício “Pitbull” Freire defeated A.J. McKee via unanimous decision. Some argued McKee had done enough to defend his title. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson even went…

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Bellator President Scott Coker says that open scoring is something that should be considered for Bellator.

This comes after a contentious decision occurred last week in Bellator 277’s main event as Patrício “Pitbull” Freire defeated A.J. McKee via unanimous decision. Some argued McKee had done enough to defend his title. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson even went as far as to label the decision “the worst robbery I’ve ever seen in MMA“.

While the former champion who lost his belt that night went by the old saying ‘to be the champ you’ve got to beat the champ’, McKee felt as though ‘Pitbull’ failed to do so.

Open scoring has been up for debate within MMA for some time now. It most certainly would add a new element to the sport for which all parties, including the fighters, coaches, and fans could benefit.

Adding open scoring would allow corners to know how the judges have scored the fight round by round, allowing for adjustments and changes in strategy if their fighter is losing.

Several UFC fighters have called for open scoring, including the likes of Stephen Thompson and Cory Sandhagen. The state of Colorado opted to adopt new rules and regulations that included open scoring for boxing and MMA bouts more recently in late 2021.

Coker is now open to introducing the system to Bellator.

“We’d have to get that approved by the commission, but it’s something we should consider,” Coker said. “It’s something the fans would enjoy, and I think the media would enjoy covering that, too, seeing the score as each round goes by.”

One of the drawbacks involving open scoring would be judges being influenced by crowd reactions to the round-by-round scoring, although Coker doesn’t see an issue with it.

“I trust our judges, and I don’t think that would be a problem. I would hope that the judges wouldn’t be swayed by people in the building or online,” said Coker. (h/t Sports Illustrated)

Do you think Bellator should trial open scoring?

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Coker On PFL/Harrison Making Cyborg Superfight: They Have My Number

Bellator CEO Scott Coker is open to dealing with the PFL to negotiate a super fight between Kayla Harrison and Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino. Harrison has teased the idea of a matchup against Cyborg for a few years, dating back to just before the 2021 PFL season. She considered signing with Bellator during her recent free…

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Bellator CEO Scott Coker is open to dealing with the PFL to negotiate a super fight between Kayla Harrison and Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino.

Harrison has teased the idea of a matchup against Cyborg for a few years, dating back to just before the 2021 PFL season. She considered signing with Bellator during her recent free agency before ultimately re-signing with the PFL.

Harrison and Cyborg had once been on complimentary terms, with Harrison going as far as naming Cyborg as the featherweight GOAT over her former teammate Amanda Nunes. But, things have gotten spicy on social media in recent months, with Cyborg going as far as blocking her on Twitter.

During a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Coker addressed the current state of affairs regarding a Harrison vs. Cyborg cross-promotional matchup happening.

“I’m not sure and, just to be honest, I have not heard from them at all. Nothing,” Coker said of the PFL and Harrison. “I know they have my number, so I don’t understand. They’re doing a lot of social [media] chattering and trying to create a story. But to me, Cris is the greatest female fighter of all-time, and she fights for Bellator. Kayla Harrison is a great, great fighter, she’s proven that. She could be one of the greats of all-time in the future as well, but she has to grow, and to fight somebody, and then keep growing. She’s going to have to put years into it.

“But to me, we’ll see, but I’m confused by what they say and what they want to do because I haven’t heard from anybody. If these social attacks are their way of doing business then I don’t do business like that. Pick up a phone, give me a call. That’s how we do business.”

The PFL plans to launch a ‘super-fight division’ as soon as next year, which could set the precedent for cross-promotion talks between the league and Bellator. Harrison will face Marina Mokhnatkina in her 2022 debut on May 6, while Cyborg will face Arlene Blencowe in her latest featherweight title defense this weekend at Bellator 279.

Coker is focused on Bellator’s return to Hawaii this weekend but seems open to making the Harrison/Cyborg fight happen if the PFL initiates contact with his promotion.

How do you think a Kayla Harrison vs. Cris Cyborg fight would play out?

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Coker States The Competition Level He’d Put Logan, Jake Paul Against

Bellator President Scott Coker seems to have a plan in mind if Logan and Jake Paul end up eventually fighting in his MMA promotion. Jake and Logan have both entertained the possibility of making the move to MMA after a few more fights in the boxing ring. Both Paul brothers are expecting to return to…

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Bellator President Scott Coker seems to have a plan in mind if Logan and Jake Paul end up eventually fighting in his MMA promotion.

Jake and Logan have both entertained the possibility of making the move to MMA after a few more fights in the boxing ring. Both Paul brothers are expecting to return to boxing later this year.

Coker has flirted with the idea of bringing Jake to Bellator when he’s ready to make the move to the cage. He was even in talks with Jake earlier this year about potentially fighting in Bellator.

During a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Coker praised the Paul brothers and answered whether or not they could transition to MMA.

“I’m impressed with their work ethic,” Coker said of the Paul brothers. “I’m impressed with how much they’ve grown over the last two years. And if they had their mind made up, I think they could get into it. I mean, could they come and win a fight against a world champion?  Probably not. But could they fight somebody decent? I think they could.”

When asked about specific opponents for the Paul brothers, he stopped short of pairing them up with Bellator’s biggest stars.

“Well, I know they were talking to A.J. [McKee], but I think A.J’s too light. But I don’t think they should fight somebody like Gegard Mousasi or anything like that, but maybe somebody ranked in the top 10 or maybe towards 8 or 9.”

Both Paul brothers come from a high school wrestling background. Jake has also shown off some work with leg kicks in his gym in Puerto Rico.

The Paul brothers’ rivalry with MMA may be coming to a close soon as it sounds like Coker is serious about potentially coming to terms on deals with both fighters.

Do you want to see Jake Paul and Logan Paul in Bellator?

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Coker Not Optimistic About McKee/Freire Trilogy Despite “Close” Rematch

Despite the tight nature of the featherweight title rematch between A.J. McKee and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Bellator President Scott Coker doesn’t believe a trilogy fight is “guaranteed.” At Bellator 277 last Friday, two 145-pound titans collided for the second time in a year. Last July, McKee secured a seat at the global featherweight table when…

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Despite the tight nature of the featherweight title rematch between A.J. McKee and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Bellator President Scott Coker doesn’t believe a trilogy fight is “guaranteed.”

At Bellator 277 last Friday, two 145-pound titans collided for the second time in a year. Last July, McKee secured a seat at the global featherweight table when he became the first man to defeat “Pitbull” since 2016. After five defenses, the Brazilian’s reign came to a close thanks to a guillotine choke at Bellator 263.

Off the back of his championship and Grand Prix glory, and having extended his perfect record to 18-0, McKee called out the top featherweights in the UFC and claimed to be the world’s best at 145 pounds.

While he had a chance to further support that sentiment by adding another blemish to Freire’s impressive résumé, McKee fell short in their rematch, losing a tight decision on the judges’ scorecards. In doing so, the 27-year-old had the 0 on his record removed.

Following the event, promotional kingpin Coker gave his take on what’s since been a highly-debated contest and result. Like many, the South Korean-born American labeled the Bellator 277 main event as “very close.”

“Listen, the judges saw it the way they saw it and he’s the new champ,” Coker said. “As far as I’m concerned, he deserves it. I think it was a very close fight. It was a technical fight. And it’s not my job to judge – it’s for the judges and the state athletic commission to work that out, and that’s what happened. That’s what you saw. You saw the judges call the fight the way they did. I did think it was very close. I was sitting around some of my friends and said, ‘What did you think?’ Half of them said A.J., half of them said ‘Pitbull.’ It was very close.” (h/t MMA Junkie)

Coker Unsure What’s Next For McKee & Freire

With their rivalry sitting level at one win apiece, it would seem a trilogy bout is the logical next step, especially given how close the rematch was. However, with McKee expressing a desire to transition to lightweight, it doesn’t appear to be that simple.

Coker shared that sentiment post-fight, claiming that while he’d love to a book a third date between the Brazilian and the American, it’s far from guaranteed.

With that in mind, the 59-year-old named 17-1 featherweight Ádám Borics, who’s riding a four-fight win streak in the Bellator cage, as a potential challenger for the first defense of Freire’s third reign on the 145-pound throne.

“I’m going to go back and watch this fight and talk to my team,” Coker said. “But as much as we’d love to see a rematch, let’s see how that goes. I can’t really answer that question. If all parties want to do that, we might do it. But it’s not guaranteed. Adam Borics looked great against Mads Burnell (at Bellator 276 in March) — he had a great performance. He had an amazing fight, and we’ll see.”

Would you like to see A.J. McKee and Patricio Freire share the cage for a third time?

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