Until very recently, Bellator and the UFC were engaged in something of a turf war, as both promotions were set to touch down in Southern California on January 26. Bellator boss Scott Coker booked The Forum in Inglewood for Bellator 214, while Dana White and the UFC were expected to take over the Honda Center in Anaheim with UFC 233.
Ultimately, however, the UFC opted to cancel its planned UFC 233 card, having had difficulty locking down a suitable headliner for the event. And just like that, Bellator was the only game in town.
Shortly after it was announced that UFC 233 had been cancelled, Bellator boss Scott Coker took to Twitter with a playful jab at the UFC.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) December 12, 2018
Speaking in the wake of Saturday night’s Bellator Hawaii card, Scott Coker opened up further on the cancellation of UFC 233.
“Listen, everybody has a business to run,” Scott Coker said. “They have a business to run, and we have a business to run. We’ve been going on that date for the last three years or however long, so everybody knows we’re going to go on that date. It didn’t work out for them, you know, because I think… To me it’s a roster issue. Who’s going to fight [in the main event]? And if you’re going to bring somebody in against the Fedor [Emelianenko] – [Ryan] Bader card, and ours is free on Paramount and on DAZN and you’re going to run on pay-per-view, you better have your A-game. And you know what? I think they just ran out of bullets.
“So here we are,” Scott Coker continued. “This is not the first time. This is I think the second, maybe even the third time this has happened on that weekend. It is what it is. And for the most part, I just feel like we’ve got to focus on our business and just keep running. But we have a great card on that date.”
As Scott Coker says above, Bellator 214 will be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between the legendary Fedor Emelianenko and reigning Bellator light heavyweight king Ryan Bader.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/16/2018.