It's been very public that Dada 5000, AKA Dhafir Harris, nearly lost his life in his fight against Kimbo Slice. Scott Coker, President of Bellator MMA, is sure about one thing though, Harris' condition was not caused by his weight cut.
Coker has been pretty quiet on the subject of Harris' near death. He sat down with Ariel Helwani on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour to break his silence. According to Coker, Harris was only off weight by one pound when he arrived the week of Bellator 149, which took place in mid-February.
"He didn't have weight cutting to do," Coker explained. "That's where there's a lot of misinformation and people aren't getting their facts straight."
Harris showed signs of fatigue during the fight and collapsed in the third round. He was taking out of the ring by stretcher and rushed to a nearby hospital where he needed to be resuscitated. Harris was diagnosed as suffering from renal failure and dehydration.
Harris himself revealed his heart stopped twice while at the hospital. Once stabilized, he remained in recovery for roughly two weeks. Even though he went through such an ordeal, Harris maintains that he was fine going into the fight.
"I was cleared by all the medical doctors," Harris recently stated. "Don't try to throw that out there as scapegoat because I don't need it. I was cleared and ready to fight. I felt great up until the time I started taking and drinking that water out of the back dressing room. I'm telling you guys this."
Slice was listed as winning the fight TKO, it came out weeks later that he tested for steroids. The Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR) suspended Slice and overturned his fight with Harris as a "no contest." Slice struck a deal with the TDLR and settled his suspension. He'll face James Thompson in London on July 16 at Bellator 158.
A fact that Harris has issues with as he's confident that Bellator was aware that Slice was fighting "dirty" at least to some extent. "I don't want to say that Bellator knew that he was on this type of sh*t, but it's hard for me to believe that they did not know," stated Harris.
Coker held the company line when speaking to Helwani, but understands that Harris has a right to say whatever he believes.
"Everybody has their opinion," shrugged Coker. "Dada, God bless him. I'm glad he's healthy and safe. He has his own platform to go fight in and he's gonna do his thing."
The future of Harris' fight career is up in the air. Harris maintains that he would like to compete again, although a rematch with Slice is out of the question. As for Coker, he implied that Harris' time at Bellator is pretty much over.
"I think we should just be friends," said Coker. "Friends is a good thing. Friends are forever."
Coker remains that Bellator 149, headlined by Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, broke record ratings for Bellator MMA and, while most of the year would be filled with high-level competitive fights, "fun fights" would be sprinkled throughout. The numbers support the viability of these "fun fights" and Bellator shouldn't be judged by a couple of "crowd pleaders."
"To me, it's like, c'mon, you've gotta give us a little bit of a break, because the math works the other way and not the fun fights way," Coker rationalized. "So to me it's like, a couple times a year we're gonna put on those fun fights, but the other 23 are right down the alley, right down the lane for what you like and what the hardcore fans like. To me, we have something for everybody."