Scott Coker discusses the future of the women’s featherweight division, saying Cyborg should leave Bellator.
Bellator MMA has yet to re-sign Cris Cyborg Women’s Featherweight Champion. And that has led to speculation about the weight class’s future in promotion.
To date, Bellator is the go-to destination for 145-pound female fighters. The UFC has a division on paper, with Amanda Nunes retaining the title she won from Cyborg years ago and defending from time to time. However, they never established a weight class.
PFL is introducing a female featherweight this year. After focusing on lightweight over the past few seasons, Cyborg is still a star at 145 pounds, and Bellator CEO Scott Coker has fueled speculation that the division might not survive if he does. no brazilian
After the Bellator 292 Coker tried to rule in that speculation.
“I won’t jump to conclusions. Because we’re still negotiating with Chris, we respect her, we think she’s the goat of the women’s division,” Coker said of Cyborg, who could enter unlimited free agency later this year. Looking to sign another champion “I won’t count them all. Then we will make a decision based on what happened. We still have contractual rights with her until August. Let’s see how it plays. Maybe it’s something we’ll get together next week. Start talking about what we want to do.”
Coker and Cyborg have had a long-standing business relationship. The Bellator executive first competed in a women’s mainstream MMA tournament when Cyborg faced off against Gina Carano in 2009 under his Strikeforce banner.
“I still think we’re in a good position with her. I think she likes it here. I think we have a good working relationship. We’ve been working together since 2009, maybe 2008,” Coker says. “So I don’t count.”
However, should Cyborg leave, will the female featherweight in Bellator be able to survive without her? In the past, Julia Budd was the leader of the division. However, Cat Zingano and former UFC bantamweight Sara McMann signed a new contract. Plus hometown stars like Arlene Blencowe and Leah McCourt remain.
“Yes. This is what it sounds like. We have a lot of contracts with women to fight. So the answer is yes,” says Coker. “Now it doesn’t have to be black and white. I think there are a few gray areas. But it moves on until we really make a decision.”
Watch the Bellator 292 vs Scott Coker post-fight press conference above.