Scott Coker says he hoped Patricio “Pitbull” Freire picked another opponent in grand prix

Scott Coker, Bellator, ONE Championship, Jon Jones

Bellator president Scott Coker was asked what he thought about the Bellator featherweight world grand prix quarterfinals matchups, and he said that while he liked the matchups, he was hoping at least one of them was different.

The fighters drew numbers and picked their matchups, with champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire having the final say during the selection show at Saturday night’s Bellator 228 event. The champ could have picked anyone he wanted to fight, including top prospect AJ McKee or his rival Darrion Caldwell. Instead, he chose little known Pedro Carvalho, a decision which raised eyebrows by fans who wanted the champ to take on a bigger name.

Coker was honest with the media and said he was hoping Freire picked someone else.

“For me personally, there’s some fights that I thought were interesting, but I was hoping for a different fight at the very end,” Coker said. “But (Freire) picked who he wanted to fight. He’s the champ and he gets to do what he wants to do. But I tell ya, there’s some fights that I really look forward to in that tournament. So I think we’re going to have a great, great tournament on our hands.”

Coker admitted he had hoped that “Pitbull” would have picked Caldwell as his opponent instead after the two exchanged some bad words for each other following Freire’s title fight win over Juan Archuleta in the co-main event. He chose Carvalho instead.

“My only thought was when ‘Pitbull’ had the shot, I thought he was going to fight DC (Darrion Caldwell). I thought he wanted him really bad,” Coker said. “It went the other way, so now we have some interesting fights on both sides. And if you keep winning, you’ll fight each other at the end, anyways. So it’s going to be fine.”

Who do you think Patricio “Pitbull” Freire should have picked to fight instead?