Scott Coker doesn’t believe the right man is holding Bellator’s interim welterweight title.
After Logan Storley’s win over Michael Page at Bellator 281,, which saw Storley dominate “MVP” with his wrestling and land very few effective offenses, the Bellator president stated that Page’s damage should have been sufficient to give the promotion the new interim title.
“Honestly, I thought that ‘MVP’ won that fight,” Coker in his post-fight media scrum. “And the reason why I say that, to me, it’s like, I was talking to my guys back home and they go, ‘Look, it’s close but we think MVP won.’ And I said, ‘Well, why do you say that?’ And they said, ‘Because half the round, he was striking. It’s not possible to just lay on someone. You’re not getting closer to a submission. There is no threat. You’re just laying on somebody, and to me, that’s not MMA.
“Control is one thing, but you can’t control somebody and just think that you’re going to win the fight,” Coker later added. It’s more like it has to. .”
Storley ultimately won a split decision over Page, capturing scorecards of 48-47 and 49-46 in his favor from judges Bryan Miner and Michael Bell, while Page earned a dissenting 48-47 in his favor from judge David Lethaby. The scoring was also hotly contested within the MMA community online, with many debating whether the damage inflicted by Page in the middle rounds should’ve mattered more than Storley’s smothering control.
In the unified rules for MMA, the highest scoring criteria when judging bouts is effective damage.
Eitherway, Storley walked out of Bellator 281 carrying the interim welterweight championship around his waist. There was also a possibility to rematch Yaroslav Amosov for a title-unification bout if Amosov (who is currently fighting in Ukraine against the Russian invasion) is able to return. Even though Bellator’s boss didn’t agree with Friday’s outcome,
“Listen, [Page] knew he was fighting a world-class wrestler,” Coker said. Logan is a good example of MMA, but you cannot just rely on someone to win. That’s wrestling. So to me, it’s like, if you’re going to wrestle, I think you have to continue the wrestling, and you have to continue to either try and submit or ground-and-pound or strike. There’s a difference between what you see on the wrestling mat and what you see in the cage.
“To me, these fighters are the best in their respective disciplines. However, it is a personal responsibility to them to improve and continue learning new techniques. Right? And that’s what I would tell Logan if he was here: ‘Hey, you’re a great wrestler. Now it’s time for you to become a great striker, or a great submission fighter and get your submission game together,'” Coker continued.
” It has to go beyond just wrestling someone. That’s honestly how I feel.”