Many observers were unhappy with the stoppage in Velasquez vs. Carmouche at Bellator 278 on Friday, but Bellator President Scott Coker is just happy he’s not a referee.
“I’m just glad I’m not a judge, I would never want to be a referee or a judge,” Coker said when the finish, which saw Liz Carmouche capture women’s flyweight gold via TKO, was brought up Saturday night. “Those guys are professionals at what they do at the highest level, I think we travel with the A-crew when we’re on the road.”
Saturday was the first time Coker had addressed the media, following back-to-back shows in Honolulu, Hawaii over the weekend. Saturday night’s Bellator 279 main event saw Cris Cyborg capture a clear decision against Arlene Blencowe in a women’s featherweight title fight. But the flyweight contest between Juliana Velasquez and Liz Carmouche one night earlier at Bellator 278 was much murkier.
Velasquez had been up on the scorecards when, in the fourth round, Carmouche trapped her in a cruicifix. Elbows were dropped, but Velasquez appeared to be weathering the storm, with just seconds left in the round. Ref Mike Beltran saw fit to wave off the fight then and there, however.
“He saw it how he saw it, and that’s maybe something you should ask [Beltran] next time you see him,” Coker said of the call, adding that he’s open to the possibility of booking a rematch. “For me, I don’t mind running that fight back, I think that those ladies were definitely scrapping it. For me I don’t mind running that fight back.”
Velasquez’s management team has vowed to appeal the call to the Hawaii State Boxing Commission, and Coker has heard from them as well. “Believe me, I’ve been getting calls from [Velasquez’s] manager and this, but there’s really nothing we could do. The fight’s over, it’s already done. It’s like, let’s move on.”
“It’s something that, we’ll have conversations with both of them when we get back [from Hawaii], and then we’ll start planning the future for both ladies,” he added.
Watch the full post-fight press conference with with Scott Coker following Bellator 279 above. More coverage can be found below.