Following a big weekend for Bellator MMA, Scott Coker addressed the futures of a number of star athletes.
Uncasville, CT — Scott Coker had plenty of ground to cover following Bellator 231 and Bellator 232 over the weekend. The back-to-back shows at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT saw the conclusion of the welterweight grand prix, and the crowning of Douglas Lima at 170lbs for the third time.
A lot of fighters are in the mix to challenge him next — including Lorenz Larkin. Coker gave an update on Larkin’s future, and the future of several other fighters, at the Bellator 232 post-fight press conference, with Cageside Press and other media outlets in attendance.
“We’re going to be taking Larkin to Japan to fight on the 29th, on our show. We’re still working out the opponent, but he will be fighting and representing Bellator against RIZIN. So he’ll be busy there. And I think that Douglas Lima would like to take a couple months off. And then we’ll figure it out. But I think Larkin, unless he loses in Japan, he’s probably the number one guy in the slot.”
“Josh is not going to fight in Japan. We know that for sure. Only because of the timing. And right now, they don’t have any heavyweights for Josh to fight. Our fight card with Fedor and Rampage, and Chandler and Benson Henderson, and the three fights with RIZIN versus Bellator, that’s already a five fight card.”
“We’ll have something soon to announce.”
“I haven’t talked to Jon. He told me he was going to retire. If he’s not retired, we can have a conversation. But he did tell me that unless he got the alternate slot and worked his way into this championship fight and the tournament finals, he was probably going to retire. When I get back to San Jose, I’ll reach out to him.”
“Don’t look at him as a guy who just got knocked out by Paul Daley. Because Paul is a killer, Paul is a dangerous fighter. You guys have seen what Paul Daley can do. I’ve watched it for so many years, and he’s one of my favorite fighters of all time.”
“Saad took a very tough challenge here today. He could go back on a three, four fight win streak, you never know. I think that he did the best he could. Paul did what he does. And that’s it. But don’t judge Saad just on today’s performance. I say look at his overall body of work. But he’s got to turn it around pretty soon. We’re not going to count this one as a strike. He gets a pass for this one.”
“Talking to MVP, watching that fight, and we were both saying, you know what, this guy is a special person. Special martial artist. He’s somebody that I really had a great time working with and I look forward to seeing his next fight.”
“I thought the fight was close, didn’t work out, and that’s just how this business is. He’ll learn from it, he’ll grow from it, he’ll continue on, and we’ll get him back as soon as he can. Because he’s a special martial artist and I’m going to support him.”