In August, a debate broke out with fans and the media when Coker announced Belter’s lightweight heavyweight division, which is better than its UFC counterpart. The comments came after John Jones vacated the UFC title to move up to heavyweight. White was appeased after such a statement and called Coker “cute”.
White said most of Bellator’s 205-pound division, such as former champion Ryan Bader and Friday’s Bellator 245 headliners Phil Davis and Lyoto Machida, was let go from the UFC over the company’s decision.
Coker disagreed with that notion and said that White was wrong when CM Sports Network was talking to the MMA junkie on Friday after the conclusion of the announcement press conference.
“We split the best 205 pounds on the planet, bar none,” Coker told MMA Junki. “When you think of the fighters we have, tonight, Phil and Machida, you have (Vadim) Nemkov. I think Gegard (Mousie) will eventually move to 205 because he told me he wants to go up to 205. … This group has become a really healthy and strong division for us.
“Ryan Bader and Phil Davis, or anyone who has come from the UFC, they have come into free agency. It is not that they came here simply because they were kicked out. that’s a lie. The truth is that they were free agents and wanted to do their (value) shop and we offered them a better deal, so they came here. These people are rewarded. This is not something they do just for fun. He is the highest level athlete and award winner. If you can come here and you are going to get a better deal, why won’t you come to Belter? If you have a better deal there, stay there and do your thing. As far as being out of some organizations is concerned, it is a lie. ”
Cocker showed no interest in a word fight with White after Zaffa bought the now-controversial Strikeforce in March 2011, which he crossed paths with allies. The two promoters have rarely spoken to each other as the Joker’s non-compete section expired and was hired by Belter. Coker said he is focused on running his business – which the UFC is not doing.
“Look, he’s talking and we’re talking,” Coker said. “That’s it and you know how it is.” We are going to continue the path and keep on talking and at least he did not say that I was ugly. ”
Since the two sides have shared their opinions, there has been much discussion with MMA fans and pundits about potential cross-promotional matchups, and champions from each organization have gone on to go after each other online.
However, there is one thing that Coker trusts, and that the Bellator brand continues to gain a foothold in the MMA space with many more big things on the horizon.
“This organization is growing and this organization has resources,” Coker said. “You can watch with the move of CBS Sports Network and this company will have other opportunities for us within the family of platforms here. For me, we are going to make the right decisions and keep growing the brand with fighters. We are a very good star identifier and I think we are the best at identifying new stars and creating new stars and that is what we are going to continue to do. Every day when I get up, we are not thinking about those people. We are thinking about what we are doing and how we want to develop this product.