The promotion’s final trip to the Mohegan Sun Arena for the foreseeable future ended up being electric as result of continuous action and subsequent storylines. Coker declared Bellator’s best pound-for-pound fighter, reacted to the night’s performances, she light on the recruitment of Gable Stevenson, and much more in the Bellator 264 post-fight press conference.
Scott Coker Post-Fight Notes & Quotes
In the event’s headliner, Mousasi successfully defended his middleweight belt for the first time since regaining it last October. The result was a third-round TKO (punches) over challenger John Salter. Coker had this to say regarding the champ’s performance:
“John Salter’s a tough guy a great wrestler,” Coker began, “I just think Gegard’s experience took over. I think conditioning took over at a certain point and he did what he had to do. He’s been out for a while with some inactivity, which is something we’re gonna try and pick up the speed for his next fight, try and get him in here right away. Hopefully in the next several months. I look forward to getting him back in the cage as soon as possible. As soon as Austin’s (Vanderford) ready.”
When Austin Vanderford defeated Fabian Edwards at Bellator 259, he believed it was enough to earn him the next title shot. Now, he has the promotion’s President on his side.
“I mean look at his performance this year I think he’s earned the right to be in that spot to get the title shot,” Coker confirmed. “Let’s see how it goes. Hopefully, he’s gonna be OK towards the end of the year, beginning of next year, but we’re ready to put that fight together when he’s ready.”
Bantamweight Tournament 2022
“I mean (Raufeon) Stots wow,” Coker replied when asked who else stood out at Bellator 264. “I mean wow. That kid is amazing. He fought a tough, tough, tough Magomedov, and to be honest with you I thought he clearly won. I know sooner or later people are gonna start whispering about the (1)35-pound tournament. I think it’s more and more likely we’re heading in that direction. We have some greats 135s and maybe next year it’ll be the division.”
AJ McKee P4P King
“Yeah I think he’s earned that right,” Coker proclaimed. “I mean Pitbull is a legend here at Bellator and in mixed martial arts, so he was ranked pound-for-pound (#1) and my hat’s off to AJ because he took care of business. He told me a week before the fight, maybe the week of the fight, he said this is gonna be an easy fight Coker. I looked at him like really? He said no this is gonna be an easy fight trust me. He was really confident and he went out and took care of business. Until somebody dethrones that kid I think he’s the greatest at 145 and the greatest in our company.”
A reporter followed up asking if Coker believes McKee is the best featherweight on the planet, to which he replied:
“I do,” he said intently. “I mean who’s gonna beat him? You guys are reporters, you know all the fighters, who’s gonna beat this kid? Yeah, he’s that good.”
Gable Stevenson Recruitment
“Well I can tell you this,” he stated, “We’ve already been in touch with his management. I do know he has a couple years left of school and he wants to go back and wrestle. So there’s dialogue going on, but I think he really wants to wrestle right now. If he wants to come to MMA, we’d love to have him here. I think nobody builds athletes from the ground up the way that we do. I think we’re the best at it and we’d be a great home for him.”
Bellator is packed with so much intrigue right now and Scott Coker only added to that notion at the Bellator 264 post-fight press conference. What did you takeaway from the event and the presser? Do you agree that AJ McKee is the best featherweight on the planet? Would Gable Stevenson be a good fit at Bellator?
Ryan Truland is an MMA writer who conducts interviews with athletes, provides creative pieces, and whatever else is needed to keep readers up to date on the latest and greatest MMA news.