Over the last year, Bellator MMA has had Grand Prix fever, promoting action-packed tournaments in its heavyweight and welterweight divisions. According to Bellator president Scott Coker, this exciting trend is likely to continue.
In fact, he says Bellator is likely to start hosting one Grand Prix a year.
“The tournament format, everybody understands,” Coker told Danny Segura of MMA Fighting. “I love the tournament format because that’s how I grew up doing martial arts. When I was working for K-1 I loved watching the Grand Prix unfold and then at the end of the year they had the big event. So single elimination events make a lot of sense for us.
“What I learned is that we should always have a tournament at some point in the year. Bellator will run tournament in one weight class per year. We don’t want to do two or three or four different tournaments. And we’ll throw tournaments when we have eight fighters that are brand names already, that people already know that we can put together. That’s been the formula and it’s worked so we’re going to continue doing it.”
While Scott Coker hasn’t nailed down the weight class for the next Grand Prix, he says the featherweight division is currently the frontrunner.
“There’s a lot of dialogue about different weight classes,” Coker said. “We haven’t 100 percent said which division but I believe that come October we will probably roll out a new tournament in a different weight class. We’ve talked about the pros and cons of different weight classes but I think that the one that sounds the most attractive to me is the featherweight division.
“You have the Pitbulls [Patricio Freire] and you have the A.J. McKees, [James] Gallagher could come up, Darrion Caldwell could come up, and [Aaron] Pico is in that weight class, [Henry] Corrales, [Emmanuel] Sanchez – we just have so many great fighters in that weight class that I think it makes sense.”
What do you think of this plan from Scott Coker?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/15/2019.