Former Strikeforce, Invicta and UFC champ Cris Cyborg is now a Bellator MMA fighter. The Brazilian legend signed with the Scott Coker helmed promotion this week.
Cyborg and Coker have a longstanding professional relationship, as Coker was the president of Cyborg’s former home in Strikeforce. As the pair begin the next chapter of their professional relationship, Coker is vowing to handle Cyborg’s career properly — which he believes the UFC failed to do.
From the sounds of it, he intends to keep her much more active, and ensure she has a rich, talent-packed division to compete in.
“We’re going to keep her much more active, and two, they’re not in the 145-pound weight class business, and we are,” Coker told MMA Junkie. “So to me, it’s something I think that we’ve been growing this weight class for the last two, three years, and Cyborg is a great addition to it.
“She will have girls in her weight class to fight, whereas in the UFC, I think it was like, let’s see who we can sign to fight her for a one-off, or make people move up to fight her from a different weight class. But the commitment was never to start a 145-pound weight class – it was always somebody just to fight her. I think that’s the difference. We’ll do this one right.”
Interestingly, Coker also added that he’ll allow Cris Cyborg to box during her time with Bellator — though MMA will be her main priority.
“MMA is going to be her first commitment, but if she wants to box, I’m all about it,” Coker said. “But we’re going to be a part of it. You might see her boxing on DAZN a couple times a year or once a year.”
How do you think Cris Cyborg will do in Bellator?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/4/2019.