The Bellator roster has been getting better and better over the last few years, as the promotion has signed a host of high profile stars, such as Rory MacDonald, Gegard Mousasi, Fedor Emelianenko, Chael Sonnen, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Wanderlei Silva, Ryan Bader, Phil Davis, Matt Mitrione, Benson Henderson and Roy Nelson.
While these are the names that have been headlining Bellator’s biggest cards of late, Bellator president Scott Coker expects the promotion’s ever-deepening pool of prospects — which includes names like Aaron Pico, AJ McKee, James Gallagher, and Tyrell and Tyree Fortune — to begin carrying the torch in the near future.
“The roster looks a lot different than it was three years ago,” Coker told MMAjunkie this week. “I think that we put on some great fights in the last three years, but in the last 18 months… Rory MacDonald’s fight with Douglas Lima was one of my favorite fights of all-time in this company…
“We’ve had just had so many great fights, I think in the last 18 months, and it’s just gonna continue on.
“If you look at the roster now, it’s something I’m very proud of,” Coker continued. “But, give us another 18 months – not 18 months. Maybe another year, that’s when you’ll see Aaron Pico really flourish out. AJ McKee, James Gallagher, the Fortunes… These are the future of the company, and I think you’re gonna see them really blossom in the next year.”
Bellator’s next event is the landmark Bellator 200, which goes down on May 25 in London, England. The card will be topped by a Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix alternate bout between Roy Nelson and Mirko Cro Cop, and co-headlined by a middleweight title fight between champ Rafael Carvalho and challenger Gegard Mousasi.
What do you think the future holds for Bellator under the leadership of the veteran fight promoter Scott Coker?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/18/2018.