A new debate has sparked between Bellator President Scott Coker and UFC President Dana White about which promotion has the best light heavyweight division.
Coker says that while Bellator has several former UFC light heavyweights on the roster, it is because those fighters wanted to be a part of the promotion. Coker asserts his promotion has the best 205 division.
“We do have the best 205-pound division on the planet, bar none,” Coker told MMA Junkie. “When you think about the fighters that we have, tonight, Phil and Machida, then you have (Vadim) Nemkov. I think Gegard (Mousasi) will eventually move up to 205 because he told me he wants to move up to 205… That group has become a really healthy, robust division for us. Ryan Bader and Phil Davis, or anyone that’s come over from the UFC, they’ve come over in free agency. It’s not that they come over here just because they got kicked out. That’s a lie. The truth is they were free agents and they wanted to shop their (worth) and we offered them a better deal so they came over here. These guys are prizefighters. This is not something they do just for fun. These are athletes of the highest level and they are prizefighters. If can come here and you’re going to get a better deal, why wouldn’t you come to Bellator? If you have a better deal there, then stay there and do your thing. As far as being kicked out of certain organizations, that’s a lie.”
There is no UFC light heavyweight champion at the moment as the vacant title will get a new owner at UFC 253; meanwhile, Vadim Nemkov rules over the Bellator light heavyweight division.
The Bellator President also says that the promotion is continuing to grow, both inside and outside of the light heavyweight division.
“This organization is growing and this organization has resources,” Coker said. “You can see with the move to CBS Sports Network and there will be other opportunities for us inside the family of platforms here at this company. To me, we’re going to make the right decisions and keep growing the brand with fighters. We’re a very good star identifier and I think we’re the best at identifying new stars and building new stars and that’s what we’re going to continue to do. Every day when I wake up, we’re not thinking about those guys. We’re thinking about what we’re doing and focused how we want to grow this product.”
Bellator returns to action tonight with Bellator 246, which is headlined by Juan Archuleta and Patrick Mix battling for the vacant bantamweight strap.