Scott Coker sees Bellator as having a potential trump card in the Francis Ngannou free agency chase.
As the president of a promotion that is part of the Showtime Sports family, Coker feels that Bellator is uniquely positioned to make a run at the former UFC heavyweight champion. Ngannou recently parted ways with the UFC after failing to agree on a new contract following a year-long negotiation period, with the company’s refusal to allow him to compete in boxing being one of the major sticking points.
If Ngannou signs on for the Bellator fight,
Coker wouldn’t have any such issues.
“We will invite him, but more importantly is when we can sit down and really talk some business and see if there’s a fit,” Coker said on The MMA Hour when asked if Ngannou will be one of the special guests in attendance for Fedor Emelianenko’s final fight this Saturday at Bellator 290. If Fedor wins, then he would become the champion until the new fight.
“Listen, Francis Ngannou would be a great edition to any roster. Because he has Showtime Boxing, he can do boxing with us and he can do MMA together, we would make a perfect fit. It would make it a great one-stop shopping .”
Should Emelianenko upset Ryan Bader in their rematch this Saturday, he’ll claim the Bellator heavyweight title and immediately retire, leaving the organization without a champion. Ngannou is a lock to immediately compete for any MMA promotion’s title wherever he signs and Coker believes that Ngannou would fit perfectly into a scenario where he needs two fighters to challenge for a vacant title.
“Of course, there’s interest,” Coker said. We’re always talking to everyone whenever there is a free agent at the level. Francis someone that we would be interested in. I also know there’s dialogue and I look forward to a sit down in the near future
Ngannou has yet to decide which direction he wants to go, whether he’s staying in MMA or strictly boxing. Or if a combination of both. Several lucrative possibilities have been discussed, including a megafight with heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury.
Right now, Coker is just looking forward to having a seat at the table.
” It’s just preliminary conversations to arrange a face-to-face meeting so that we can have good conversations and get to know one another,” Coker stated.