Scott Coker believes that MMA fans will be able to witness a UFC vs Bellator promotional crossover fight after all.
Fans have long fantasized about UFC athletes competing against the stars of Bellator or another major promotion in superfights and cross-promotion bouts. While Bellator has done this with RIZIN, there have never been meaningful conversations about a UFC / Bellator crossover promotional fight that the public is aware of despite Bellator President Scott Coker being open to the idea. All of this will change at UFC 262 according to Coker.
Oliveira vs. Chandler More like UFC vs. Bellator?
At UFC 262, a new UFC lightweight champion will be crowned when Charles Oliveira meets Michael Chandler for the vacant title. Chandler is a UFC contracted fighter, ranked # 4 in the lightweight division, in fact. But when it comes to Scott Coker, he still represents Bellator MMA.
“Michael is homegrown here and has had a lot of fights,” Coker told MMA Junkie. “It doesn’t surprise me at all because he was our world champion for a while until he was defeated by ‘Pitbull.’ So to me, I always felt like if he was going to go there, I said, ‘Hey, when you go there, you have to go get that belt.’ Go kick butt, go hit everyone and get that title. ‘ I thought I was going to do it in two fights? No.
“But you know what? I’m happy for him. He’s proven himself and it’s something that, to me, will be a fight between Bellator and the UFC. You have Michael, who fights for the UFC, but here he’s homegrown. Always. we’ve known his talent, so when he knocks out that kid, or whoever he’s fighting, he’ll be the champion. ‘Pitbull’ will always have a claim (as the best in the world) because he beat Chandler. “
These comments echo comments on what Patricio “Pitbull” Freire had to say recently about how Chandler’s early success in the UFC demonstrates the strength of Bellator’s roster. Coker’s argument that a Chandler win would prove they have the best lightweight in the world, while debatable in many respects, has some merit. After all, Pitbull’s win over Chandler took place not too long ago by MMA standards (2019), and Pitbull is still a double champion at Bellator, even in the lightweight division. Especially with Khabib now retired, there would be something to say if the Bellator lightweight champion has a win over the UFC lightweight champion.
For that to happen, Chandler must beat “that kid” who goes by the name Charles Oliveira, the UFC’s No. 3 lightweight veteran with an impressive eight-game winning streak. And still, there would be two guys by the names of Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor who would have something to say about the “world’s best lightweight” nickname given to Chandler without first going through the winner of their fight.
Do you agree with Scott Coker? Would a Michael Chandler win over Charles Oliveira prove that Patricio “Pitbull” Freire is the best active lightweight in the world?