After Bellator 254, that’s a wrap for the promotion’s 2020 calendar year.
Like everyone else, it was no doubt a year that in many ways the organization would like to forget. At the same time, Bellator managed to put on some big, entertaining events in the face of an ongoing, deadly pandemic. And did so while keeping athlete and employee safety a priority.
Coming out of Bellator 254, the talk was about the crowning of a new flyweight champion. Juliana Velasquez is now the second women’s flyweight champ in Bellator history, having dethroned the long-serving Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.
Following the bout, both fighters expressed interest in taking part in a potential flyweight grand prix. But Bellator CEO Scott Coker isn’t ready to show his hand just yet, after teasing the possibility of a 125lb tournament earlier this year.
“I’ll tell you, I think we have some choices here,” he said when asked what weight class might get the nod for the next tournament. “I think that everybody’s in contention as far as weight class. I think we have two or three different divisions, we just haven’t decided yet.”
When the decision is made, “we’ll probably announce something in January or February,” continued Coker. “But we have a little bit of time, because we have the Sanchez-Pitbull fight sometime in the first quarter of next year, then we’ll have the finals of the tournament, AJ [McKee] versus the winner of those two. And then we have three, four, or five months. So we have time to figure it all out. And we’ll do the right thing.”
Aside from tournament talk, the big question up in the air at the moment is Bellator’s 2021 schedule. They have a new home on CBS Sports Network, but have yet to announce any shows for next year. “We’re scheduled to do our normal amount of events, and it’s just how we’re gonna schedule, what night we’re gonna go,” revealed Coker.
Beyond that, Coker added that the promotion has “a lot of exciting things to announce early next year.”
Watch the full Bellator 254 post-fight press conference with Scott Coker above.