Scott Coker says Bellator spoke with Ryback's management about a mixed-martial-arts debut, confirming earlier reports.
Coker appeared on Eric Bischoff's podcast Bischoff on Wrestling to discuss Coker's career as a fight promoter and his current job as Bellator MMA's president. Bischoff asked Coker about the rumors of Ryback trying to fight for Bellator. Coker seemed hesitant to hire a professional wrestler.
"We had a very brief conversation. I'm not sure where it's at but I don't think it went very far. If they don't have some type of background in either jiu-jitsu or collegiate wrestling or Thai boxing or like a combat sports background... it's tough for them. It's like someone from a martial arts background trying to be a pro wrestler. If you're not schooled and go through the education process of how to do it, you're going to have a hard time. I think that's what you saw with the CM Punk situation was, If he had a jiu-jitsu background or a Thai boxing background or some kind of fighting background, I think that he would've had much more success but I think for a pro wrestler to go straight into MMA without some kind of combat experience, I think it's very very challenging" said Coker.
Coker spoke more about CM Punk. He gave his philosophy on how the situation unfolded.
"He fought on a pretty big card and fought a pretty tough kid. It's back to the drawing board in my opinion. He's going to have to go back and really think about whether he wants to continue fighting. If he does he's got to stay at Duke's gym and keep training. Maybe another year from now or eighteen months from now he can try it again. To think it's going to be any other outcome fighting a guy of that caliber in any league I think is irresponsible" said Coker.
Ryback left WWE nearly two months ago. He has only wrestled once during that time but has been focused on business ventures including being a spokesperson for El Pollo Loco restaurants. Ryback will appear at WrestlePro on October 14th. WrestlePro also featured Cody Rhodes recently who parted from WWE two months before Ryback.