Scott Coker Says Internal Discussions on Women’s Bantamweight in Bellator Have Happened

Following a win on Friday at Bellator 289 that saw her settle things with Juliana Velasquez once and presumably for all, Liz Carmouche reiterated her call for Bellator to open a women’s bantamweight division.

Carmouche, a two-time title challenger at 135lbs in the UFC, first won Bellator’s 125lb belt earlier this year, putting away Velasquez by TKO. With a bit of controversy stemming from the finish (Velasquez appealed the result, arguing it was early, but was unsuccessful), the second fight was booked — and there was no question as to the winner this time out, with Velasquez tapping to an arm-bar.

As luck would have it, Bellator President Scott Coker is not closed to the idea of adding a third weight class for women. Thus far, Bellator has featured only women’s flyweight and featherweight, with the occasional one-off strawweight fight thrown in for good measure.

But talks about a 135lb weight class for the ladies have happened, Coker said following Friday’s event in Unvasville, CT.

“I’ll tell you, we’ve had conversations not with her but internally with our fight team, about the possibility of opening up a 135 division,” Coker said back stage at the Mohegan Sun Arena. “So there is dialog. It’s not guaranteed, but there is dialog, and we haven’t made a decision yet.”

The hold up, historically, has been the ability to accommodate another weight class.

“When you think about Bellator and how many TV dates there are, and how many TV slots there are, there’s only so many slots. We have nine divisions, we felt really good about our nine divisions. We felt we could be really strong at 45 and 25, so those are the divisions we went with.”

“But,” added Coker, “we might open it up. We’ll see.”

Watch the full Bellator 289 post-fight press conference with Scott Coker above.