Every MMA fan believes that they would be the best matchmakers for any promotion. Give the fans the biggest fights that they are asking for. But many different fighting promotions have to balance the craziest fights with the ones that make the most fighting sense. The number one contender gets their shot at the belt and title eliminators need to happen.
However, there is some fun that gets lost in the mix of these serious fights. Demian Maia, though an amazing grappler and technically gifted fighter, does not really push the needle. However, rumors of a Fedor and Mirko Cro Cop rematch set the internet on fire. These are the fights that fans are asking for, and Bellator is trying to give them these types of fights.
During a media event for the upcoming Bellator 160, President Scott Coker addressed his affinity for scheduling super fights in his organization. “We talk about the fun fights. I always said Bellator is going to do the fun fight."
Coker admitted that at times, the organization has "received criticism" for the way that it handles organizing fights, but in the end he feels that it's a product that the fans want to see.
"Number one versus number two is not always what the fans want to see or what the general public wants to see. I think at Bellator we do both. We’ve done some fun fights. We’ve done some hardcore fights. I think that ninety percent of the fights we have done have been for the hardcore audience."
The desire to create these type of superfight cards stems from Coker's initial passion for MMA. He wants to replicate what first drew him into the sport for other fight fans.
"The very first fun fight that I saw in person that I said, ‘Wow, this is nuts,’ was when Bob Sapp fought Nogueira in Pride. Here is a pro wrestler that had no MMA experience. He was a football player. He trained two or three weeks… he goes to Japan and fights Nogueira. He didn’t know how to fight. He pile drives him and I’m like ‘Oh I think he knocked him out.’ … It’s just a phenomenal story. That was the first time where I said ‘Hey this is going to be a lot of fun to put these fights on.'"
Bellator has done well at using fighters who have established themselves in other organizations, such as Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie, and Kimbo Slice, to build up these super fights. Though there are none in the works right now, Coker is not counting out the possibility of more coming soon.
"You’ll see some more. Right now we don’t have anything scheduled, but when the situation arises I love putting those fights together.”