Bellator president Scott Coker was probably reminded of the infamous Nashville brawl, which happened back in the Strikeforce days, when Paul Daley and Michael Venom Page were causing a scuffle after the main event fight of Bellator 179 in London yesterday.
Following his bout with Rory MacDonald, Daley mentioned Page, who was supposed to fight Derek Anderson on the card but withdrew due to a knee injury, on the microphone and things escalated from there. For a moment, it looked like it would go out of hand when the two fighters were in a shoving match at cageside, while dozens of people were trying to separate them.
Even though no punches were thrown, this incident could set up the next headliner when Bellator returns to London. “It’s unfortunate because we have to keep this professional. Never do we wanna have something like that happen at our events,” Coker said after the event. Bellator officials will take a look at the pictures and later decide whether the promotion has to issue fines. Also, the Connecticut Athletic Commission, which was the governing body for the event in London, could have a word with both fighters.
As unfortunate as Coker viewed the incident, he is a promoter at heart and sees the chance the Daley-MVP feud could offer. “There is a lot of heat between those guys, and there is some animosity,” he explained. “That’s a fight people wanna see. I think that’s a fight both those guys wanna see. And if they wanna throw it down, we put it together.”
It might take some time before Bellator returns to London. Both Daley and MVP, with the latter being from the UK capital, could definitely headline a card and probably fill out the SSE arena which was the venue of yesterday’s event. “I think that that deserves to be here [in London], and maybe we would wait until we gonna come back next time,” Coker said.
Although the promotion does not have plans for any further events in London this year, Bellator’s president mentioned that the UK is one of most important markets for the company. Outside of London, there are several venues which could hold events soon, as Bellator intends to maintain its presence in the country. “What’s important here in the UK also is Channel 5 and Spike UK,” Coker stated with a smile on his face. “It has such a big presence on national television, on cable TV. It’s a big victory.”
15 out of 16 fighters on the undercard that was shown on Bellator’s internet streaming service were from the UK and delivered great entertainment in Coker’s eyes. “I was impressed with a lot of the local kids. They came and fought their hearts out,” he said. “We love coming to the UK.”