Over the last few weeks, there’s been significant buzz about a potential fight between Bellator welterweight champ Rory MacDonald, and former Bellator and ONE welterweight champ Ben Askren. While this fight is one that most fans want to see, the key roadblock is that, even in his retirement, Askren remains under contract with ONE Championship.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Bellator President Scott Coker divulged that he recently met with ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong to discuss a possible Askren vs. MacDonald matchup. While we already know that Coker isn’t interested in bringing Askren back to Bellator for a one-off fight, it sounds like he is interested in swapping fighters with ONE Championship in the future.
“We talked about that fight and I told him, to be honest to have a one-fight deal with Ben doesn’t really do us much,” Coker said. “I wished him luck.”
“I said if [Askren’s status] changes, Chatri, let us know and we said we’ll get together some time soon and maybe we can do some collaborations or we can work together in sharing fighters,” he added “If they need some help, we’re happy to help them. He said the same. So the relationship is good. When I think about the Ben Askren fight, if it was more than one fight, we would be interested.”
“We have a lot of other fighters to fight Rory that we could go to first,” Coker said. “But the one thing about this business, you never know. We’ll continue to talk to Chatri, because Ben is still under contract with ONE. We want to be respectful of that.”
Are there any Bellator vs. ONE Championship crossover fights you’d like Scott Coker and Chatri Sityodtong to put together? Askren vs. MacDonald? Bibiano Fernandes vs. Darion Caldwell? Garry Tonon vs. Dillon Danis? Aung La N Sang vs. Rafael Carvalho or Gegard Mousasi? The possibilities would seem to be endless!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/8/2018.