Scott Coker anticipating the biggest year in Bellator’s history in 2021 after adding a host of new ‘toys’ to the roster
Bellator president Scott Coker is anticipating the biggest year in the promotion’s history in 2021 after adding a host of new ‘toys’ to his roster.
Former UFC trio Corey Anderson, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson and Yoel Romero all joined Bellator’s ranks last year, following hot on the heels of Cris Cyborg and Ryan Bader.
Fight fans are eager to see Bellator’s new signings battle it out in the light heavyweight division and Coker is equally excited by the new faces.
“We’ve had a lot of signings. A lot of new toys,” Coker said. “Plus I think the things we accomplished with Covid [in 2020] has been pretty big.
“Not just Bellator, but our whole staff and parent company should be happy with what we’ve accomplished this year. I’m looking forward to 2021 just like everyone else.”
Coker added, telling The Daily Telegraph: “I think for what it is, I think we’ve done a pretty damn good job fighting through the pandemic, getting a protocol in place, setting up shop at the Mohegan Sun and going to Paris for the first time.
“We continued our featherweight tournament. There’s been a lot of wins [for us]. We’ve continued to make signings with Corey Anderson and now Yoel Romero and Anthony Johnson.
“Our roster is looking great. We have the best light heavyweight division in all of MMA, hands down.
“We are looking forward to putting some amazing fights on.”
Coker has overseen a steady change in policy in recent years as his young fighters, like AJ McKee, have begun to emerge as genuine stars.
Bellator’s apparent disinterest in signing UFC legend and 45-year-old Anderson Silva is another indication Coker is looking to a sustainable future.
“We’re not signing every OG out there,” Coker explained. “Our roster can sustain our main events.
“AJ McKee was the very first one. He come up the ranks from ground zero. I saw him fight as an amateur and signed him two months after I came to Bellator.”
“He had no pro fights. Now we have our young stars like AJ McKee. I’ve said we’ll build this roster from the bottom up and buy from the top down,” he continued.
“Now we’re being very picky as to who we buy from the top down.”
After a hectic end to 2020 Bellator are expected to pick up again in mid-February and still have the delayed featherweight tournament to complete this year, expected to have an outright champion at 145lbs by April.