Bellator MMA president Scott Coker spoke recently withSubmission Radio‘s Alan Murphy to discuss GSP, WWE wrestler Ryback, Ryan Bader, Lorenz Larkin, and the one that didn’t get away Fedor Emelianenko.
“Fedor Emelianenko, come one, that’s the greatest heavyweight of all time,” said Coker. “Let’s be real. People say, ‘Oh, maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t.’ Listen, I remember what it was like back in PRIDE. He went undefeated for how many years, fought all the killers over there. That was when PRIDE had the best fighters in the world. Let’s face it, they were the premiere organization. And that’s why the UFC bought them. They bought them because of all those great athletes.
“So to me, that was the time when I said look, this guy fought everybody and ducked nobody and was killing everybody. So to me it’s like look, he had a great run there and he had fights with Strikeforce and I built a relationship with him there and so we became friends and started working together. So when I heard he wanted to fight again, I said let’s talk about it and eventually it evolved into him coming to fan fests and signings and he spent time with our fans.
“But I said, okay, let’s go for it now and we sat down, we cut a deal. It wasn’t easy, it took three, four months, maybe five months to put together. But now that that part’s over, the business part’s over and him just fighting, I’m really excited. Because when he walked down that ramp in San Jose and we announced the fight, people were going nuts. I mean, people still know and he resonates. This guy’s a big star and we’re excited to have him come fight in Bellator.
“And Matt Mitrione. You know, that’s a guy that’s gonna bring it too. Matt said something that night. He said, ‘Let’s just throw hammers and see what happens.’ And that’s exactly what’s gonna happen. This is not gonna be a fight that goes, dances for four or five rounds. This is gonna go end of the first round. Someone’s gonna hit somebody and then I think it’s gonna be over.”
Coker also discussed potential Bellator signings:
“Well Georges St-Pierre is in a little bit of a grey area, because he’s saying he’s free, ZUFFA’s saying that no, he’s still with us. I think they’ve got some stuff to work out, and let’s see what happens after that. If he was a complete free agent and everybody felt that he was a free agent, then yeah, we would love to talk to him.”
“The door’s always open for Royce. I mean, the guy’s a legend. Man, come on. But it would have to be something that makes sense and that was really interesting. And something came across my desk today actually that might be interesting. So we’ll see. But the door’s always open for Royce.”
“It’s just preliminary stages, but it’s something that would be really interesting. But it’s a long way from happening. This is a much younger legend, let’s put it that way.”
“Ryan Bader, I believe, is under an exclusive negotiation period. But once he’s free, we’ll start talking to him. But yeah, is he somebody that we’ll talk to if he is free? Of course, we’ll talk to him.”
“I like Lorenz. We’re actually talking to him right now. And I think Lorenz is more just of economics, as to if we can make the economics work.”
Herschel Walker vs. Dada 5000
“Herschel is still in great shape. I just saw him in Dallas, hung out with him for a couple of days and he’s still in great shape. If he ever came to me and said, ‘Hey, I really want to do this again,’ then we’d figure out and try and make it work. But Dada, I think that was a one-time thing.”
“Yeah, we talked to him and we just couldn’t put the deal together. So if he wanted to come back and change his mind… you know, but I think it’s easier for him to stay in some type of wrestling and be an entertainer.”
“I’m not exactly sure [why talks broke down], because they were talking to Rich [Chou], our matchmaker, but I think it was just basically on what the economics were. Sometimes the fighter or an athlete feels they’re valued a certain price, and sometimes we don’t feel that way.”
*AJ McKee crashes interview and demands belt/title shot*
“Youngest champ ever,” said McKee. “Jon Jones was 23, I’m 21. So we’re gonna get it.”