Scott Coker Says Featherweight World Grand Prix May Begin This October


Bellator MMA recently finished up the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix, which was won by two division champion Ryan Bader. The promotion is currently in the midst of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix, which continues tonight at Bellator 216.

However, a featherweight world grand prix could be coming our way next and it may be kicking off this October.

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“There’s a lot of dialogue about different weight classes,” Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said to MMA Fighting. “We haven’t 100 percent said which division but I believe that come October we will probably roll out a new tournament in a different weight class. We’ve talked about the pros and cons of different weight classes but I think that the one that sounds the most attractive to me is the featherweight division. You have the Pitbulls [Patricio Freire] and you have the A.J. McKees, [James] Gallagher could come up, Darrion Caldwell could come up, and [Aaron] Pico is in that weight class, [Henry] Corrales, [Emmanuel] Sanchez - we just have so many great fighters in that weight class that I think it makes sense.”

Coker also ran a heavyweight grand prix during the Strikeforce days, which was won by current UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier.

The Bellator MMA President also says that the promotion is planning on running one grand prix per year.

“The tournament format, everybody understands,” Coker said. “I love the tournament format because that’s how I grew up doing martial arts. When I was working for K-1 I loved watching the Grand Prix unfold and then at the end of the year they had the big event. So single elimination events make a lot of sense for us. What I learned is that we should always have a tournament at some point in the year. Bellator will run tournament in one weight class per year. We don’t want to do two or three or four different tournaments. And we’ll throw tournaments when we have eight fighters that are brand names already, that people already know that we can put together. That’s been the formula and it’s worked so we’re going to continue doing it.”

There are just six fighters left in the welterweight world grand prix, with those competitors being champion Rory MacDonald, Jon Fitch, Paul Daley, Michael Page, Douglas Lima and Neiman Gracie.

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