Bellator and also RIZIN will go head-to-head in New York for the opening round of Bellator 222, which will see Darrion Caldwell protect the Bellator bantamweight championship versus Kyoji Horiguchi. This fight will be a rematch of their RIZIN 14 experience, which saw Horiguchi send Caldwell to become the inaugural RIZIN bantamweight champion.
” Pay attention, it’s not their business design to do that, yet if they desire to get it on, allow’s do it,” Coker claimed throughout a scrum at Bellator 222 media day. “We would not be opposed to that.”
There was as soon as a time where the UFC did join some cross-promotion, most notably when Chuck Liddell flew to Japan to participate in the 2003 SATISFACTION Middleweight Grand Prix. Liddell won his quarterfinal spell against Overeem at SATISFACTION: Complete Elimination that year but shed his semifinal versus Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at SATISFACTION: Final Conflict a few months later on.
While he knows it’s unlikely ever to take place, Bellator President Scott Coker says if the UFC ever wanted to do cross-promotional fights, he would undoubtedly be prepared to work with them.
Cross-promotional fights with RIZIN have been an applauded suggestion carried out by Bellator Head of state Scott Coker, specifically with the upcoming Bellator 222 card, but he’s additionally not against functioning with an unlikely companion– the UFC.
Before Caldwell’s look, the collaboration in between Bellator and RIZIN saw Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal win the RIZIN Heavyweight Grand Prix in 2015 and take part in the Japanese promotion’s 2016 Open-weight Grand Prix.
As president of Strikeforce, Coker had partnerships with PRIDE throughout its last days, in addition to DREAM and also M-1 Worldwide. Consequently, the kickboxing-turned-MMA promo was able to include abilities such as Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem.
Cross-promotional rounds with the UFC would offer the chance for some of the skill in Bellator, typically thought about the No. 2 MMA organization worldwide, to show their stuff as well as potentially score significant victories over the globally Mixed Martial Arts leader.
“I indicate, come on, we got some killers in this league,” Coker stated. “If they intend to obtain it on, allow’s do it.”
While he recognizes it’s likely never to happen, Coker says he ‘d leap at the opportunity to do cross-promotion with the UFC.
Bellator 222 takes place on Friday, June 14, 2019, live from Madison Square Yard in New York City, NY.