Longtime MMA veteran Mirko Cro Cop is making his Bellator MMA debut at Bellator 200, facing Roy Nelson in a rematch from their UFC days.
Scott Coker is the president of Bellator MMA and he has faced a lot of criticism for putting a USADA suspended fighter on the card, but Coker says that Cro Cop has already competed since the suspension was issued.
“Here’s the thing,” Coker said to MMA NYTT. “Mirko fights in Rizin, in Japan, and USADA has relationship with the UFC and they’re in Japan all the time. Why didn’t they go after him two years ago when he started fighting in Rizin? This is a question just because he’s fighting for Bellator at our 200th event? To me it’s like, if you wanted to take action, you should’ve took action a long time ago, because to me, honestly, when we booked it, we didn’t even know there were issues. He’s already fighting so we thought he was able to fight.”
Cro Cop has fought a lot since his suspension, with all of those bouts taking place in japan for the Rizin promotion. Coker also wants to point out that USADA works exclusively with the UFC, not with Bellator MMA.
“Listen, USADA works with the UFC,” said Coker. “They’re doing their own thing, so go do it. I just feel like the timing of it is a little bit questionable because at the end of the day, if you really wanted to enforce it, you should’ve enforced it two years ago when Mirko fought in Japan.”
Bellator 200 takes place on Friday, 25 from the SSE Arena in London, England with Rafael Carvalho and Gegard Mousasi headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs via tape delay on the Paramount Network.