Bellator President Scott Coker would be open to discussing a potential cross-promotional event with the PFL to give fans a fight between Cris Cyborg and Kayla Harrison, though he isn’t so far a fan of how the PFL has gone about trying to put it together.
Coker, who is currently in Honolulu ahead of this weekend’s Bellator 278 and Bellator 279 events, was asked about the PFL and CEO Peter Murray issuing the challenge on social media and if Bellator has any interest in it.
“I’m not sure and, just to be honest, I have not heard from them at all. Nothing,” said Coker, who oversees Bellator 279 featuring Cyborg vs. Arlene Blencowe. “I know they have my number, so I don’t understand. They’re doing a lot of social [media] chattering and trying to create a story. But to me, Cris is the greatest female fighter of all-time, and she fights for Bellator. Kayla Harrison is a great, great fighter, she’s proven that. She could be one of the greats of all-time in the future as well, but she has to grow, and to fight somebody, and then keep growing. She’s going to have to put years into it.
“But to me, we’ll see, but I’m confused by what they say and what they want to do because I haven’t heard from anybody. If these social attacks are their way of doing business then I don’t do business like that. Pick up a phone, give me a call. That’s how we do business.”
Coker and Bellator are no strangers to working with other promotions, including putting on multiple events in conjunction with RIZIN FF, something the two companies will look to bring back in 2022. In addition, the Bellator president tells MMA Fighting that discussions are ongoing about the potential of Bellator fighters competing in Eagle FC, which is promoted by former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
But for Bellator to work with the PFL and put on one of the biggest MMA fights that can be made, Coker is open to communication and a sit down. He’s not open to a social media sparring contest.
“There would be a lot of things to work out,” Coker said. “We’ve talked about sending some fighters to Khabib’s league, and [RIZIN president] Sakakibara and I will sit down and start talking about December for the end of the year. So we’re not opposed to it, but it has to make sense for both sides.
“There’s a lot of questions. Not only is it who pays for what, but who owns what? How do the rights work after? It’s just a lot of details that go into these kind of co-promotions and I’m not sure if we could put a deal together. But if we can, it’s something that’s worth at least a conversation but, like I said, doing business on social networks, trying to take shots at us, that’s kid’s play.
“This is a real business. This is a real company, and we’re in the business of putting fights together so pick up a phone, give me a call if you want to do something. That’s how I feel.”