Scott Coker sends message to other MMA promotions: “We have as good or better fighters than other leagues, including the UFC”

By Zain Bando - June 14, 2023

Bellator president Scott Coker has made his stance clear – his fighters are the cream of the crop. Ahead of Bellator 297 Friday night, which is headlined by two marquee title fights in Vadim Nemkov vs. Yoel Romero at light heavyweight and Sergio Pettis vs. Patricio Pitbull at bantamweight, Coker was adamant his three champions could challenge a whos-who, including the best the UFC has to offer.

Scott Coker, Bellator, ONE Championship, Jon Jones

“We have as good or better fighters than other leagues, including the UFC,” Coker said. “And I think that everybody knows that now.”

Scott Coker, who has been president since June 2014, didn’t back down when asked what to expect for those unfamiliar with the fighters on-stage at Wednesday’s pre-fight press conference inside the Skydeck at Willis Tower.

“One of the things I’m really proud of is when you look at all the trainers,” Coker said. “All the managers, all the fighters, people that spar with these guys. You know, people know how good these guys are. At the 205-pound weight class, I think [Nemkov] is the best fighter in the world until somebody knocks him off.”

Coker also noted how talented his roster is, specifically at light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight and lightweight, he said.

“I think that you’re looking at a group of fighters here that could fight anybody in any league, any time,” Coker said. “If you look at our divisions of 205, 185, 170. I’m talking about Johnny Eblen [Bellator middleweight champion], [Yaroslav] Amasov, “Pitbull.” Whoever goes through that gauntlet in that lightweight tournament we’re having right now, could you argue he is the best lightweight in the world [including the UFC?] I think you could argue that after the winner of that tournament [is crowned].”

Outside of the fights themselves, Coker mentioned Chicago as a great fight city and hopes to return there at least once a year as a primary destination for the promotion.

Is Scott Coker right about the assessment of his roster? Let us know, Penn Nation!


Bellator Scott Coker