Recent news of former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson making his way over to the Bellator MMA promotion has been buzzing in the MMA community.
“I think this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Coker told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of the MMA Hour. “Fighters are fighting out their contacts. They want to negotiate. They really want to see what their value is. We’re going to help them to define what their value is. It’s always good for the industry to have more than one bidder.”
Coker said that “Smooth” was their biggest target to sign with their promotion. With headlining ten events in the UFC, and still being in his prime, it was a no-brainer to pick up the former UFC champion.
“This guy has done it all,” Coker said. “He’s fought everybody. … He’s such a class act and such a great guy, too. I thought he’d be a great fit for our company.”
Regarding what moves the company will make next as far as fighter acquisitions, Coker alluded to a growing roster as the year goes on.
“I’ve always said we’re going to build our roster from the ground up and then buy the free agents from the top down that we want,” he said. … “By the end of this year, I think we’re gonna have a really good roster on our hands and some really big fights ahead of us.”
“All these free agents that are out there aren’t just testing free agency just to test it,” Coker said. “I think there are other fighters out there that we’ll get.”
What other fighters do you think would jump ship from the UFC to Bellator MMA? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!