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Bellator's Scott Coker addresses Dada 5000's health issues, recent comments

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

What caused Dada 5000's health issues during and after his fight with Kimbo Slice still seems to be unknown. But it had nothing to do with his weight cut, according to Scott Coker.

The Bellator MMA president, speaking for the first time publicly about Dada 5000's serious health scare, said Dada was only one pound off weight when he arrived in Houston the week of his Bellator 149 fight with Slice Feb. 19.

"He didn't have weight-cutting to do," Coker told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "That's where there's a lot of misinformation and people aren't getting their facts straight."

Dada 5000, whose real name is Dhafir Harristold MMA Fighting last week that he was healthy and in shape for the fight with Slice. Yet as soon as he got to the arena and began drinking the water backstage, things started to change. Harris collapsed in the third round against Slice and lost via TKO.

Afterward, Harris suffered cardiac arrest and kidney failure. He spent two weeks in a Houston hospital recovering. And things were almost even worse. Harris almost died.

"I was cleared by all the medical doctors," Harris said. "Don't try to throw that out there as scapegoat because I don't need it. I was cleared and ready to fight. I felt great up until the time I started taking and drinking that water out of the back dressing room. I'm telling you guys this."

Harris insinuated that Slice's team tampered with his pre-fight preparation.

Slice's victory over Harris has been overturned to a no contest due to Slice's failed drug test for steroids. Slice also received a fine and a 90-day suspension from the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration. He'll be back in action, though, against James Thompson at Bellator 158 on July 16 in London.

Harris takes umbrage with the fact that Slice is allowed to come back so soon and finds it hard to believe that Bellator didn't know Slice was using performance-enhancing drugs.

"I don't want to say that Bellator knew that he was on this type of sh*t, but it's hard for me to believe that they did not know," Harris said.

Coker told Helwani that he may not agree with what Harris has to say, but he is entitled to his viewpoint.

"Everybody has their opinion," Coker said. "Dada, God bless him. I'm glad he's healthy and safe. He has his own platform to go fight in and he's gonna do his thing."

Harris runs BYB Extreme Fighting Series in Florida and will also be the focus of a sequel to his well-known documentary Dawg Fight. Dada 5000 is back on his feet now and seems to have positive things going on in his life. A return to Bellator, though, does not seem likely.

"I think we should just be friends," Coker said. "Friends is a good thing. Friends are forever."

On the type of fight that Slice vs. Dada was, Coker sought to defend himself on The MMA Hour. Bellator 149, which was headlined by Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock, did record ratings for the promotion. The event that it beat was headlined by Slice against Shamrock.

Coker said the majority of Bellator fights feature high-level competition and he doesn't believe the organization should be judged on just a few bouts per year.

"To me, it's like, c'mon, you've gotta give us a little bit of a break, because the math works the other way and not the fun fights way," Coker said. "So to me it's like, a couple times a year we're gonna put on those fun fights, but the other 23 are right down the alley, right down the lane for what you like and what the hardcore fans like. To me, we have something for everybody."