Scott Coker is a busy man ahead of Bellator 179 in London, England this week, but he still took the time to speak to reporters at the weigh-ins earlier today.
The #Bellator boss covered questions over a wider variety of topics including what Bellator’s plans were for the rest of the year. With rumors swirling that the promotion will return to the English capital as early as September, Coker wasted no time setting the record straight.
“There’s no set date here yet,” Coker said. “I know we have some dates set up for Belfast before the end of the year and we’re talking to the venue in Dublin—there is one more city, I forgot the name, but if you look at the body and the amount of fights we’ve done here, outside the US, this is the most frequency we’ve had. That’s going to continue. It’s going to be great for the UK fans, for Bellator, Channel 5 and Spike UK. It will be 2-3 more events [in the UK and Ireland] before the end of the year.”
Next weekend, #KSW will set the European attendance record for an MMA event. Coker admitted Poland was an interesting territory, but that he wouldn’t enter it without the assistance of KSW.
“It’s not that we wouldn’t go there, but if we did go there, we’d call up KSW and do a co-promotion of some kind,” Coker said. “I’m not opposed to that—Martin [Lewandowski] and I are good friends and I think he’s done a good job over there. For us to go to Poland and not work with the local promoter, I don’t think that would be right.”
Yesterday, ACB announced a mammoth end of year tour which will see the Russian promotion enter several new territories. Despite their rapid growth, when asked what he thought of the promotion, Coker seemed to know very little about them.
“What’s the name of them—I’m not sure what they work at,” Coker said, looking slightly puzzled until another reporter explained. “I don’t mean that [disparagingly], are they here? Oh, I see, I think they also tried to do some fights in California. Listen, I think that would be like us trying to go to Russia and promote. America is kinda full—that’s how I feel. But they could build a nice business in their territories. As far as building a business in different parts of the world, I think they have a lot of work to do. But you never know what can happen. I’m the guys that says if you create lightning in a bottle then good for them. I’m happy for ONE FC and I’m happy for Martin [KSW]. We are going to run our business and handle our business. Best of luck to them, if they have success then great.”
While Russia is off the Bellator agenda, one territory very much on it is Brazil.
“Yes, we will definitely go to Brazil in 2018,” Coker said. “I don’t know about 2017, but definitely in 2018 we will put on an incredible fight card for the Brazilian fans.”
Bellator 179 goes down tomorrow at the SSE Wembley Arena. The main event features Paul Daley taking on Rory MacDonald.