Scott Coker says Bellator MMA in Dialogue with Diaz and Ngannou
Bellator MMA President Scott Coker says that they are in “dialogue” with Nate Diaz and Francis Ngannou. The two fighters are probably the biggest free agents in combat sports and with many fighters looking to do both boxing and MMA, Bellator could be a good spot for fighters looking to do both without restriction.
Diaz fought the last fight on his contract at UFC 279 and was looking to get into the fight business himself with “Real Fight Inc.” but after the announcement, nothing else seems to have come of it. It was said that the focus would be on boxing, MMA, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu but Coker revealed to the media after Bellator 291 that he was in Dialogue with Diaz.
Coker said; “With Nate Diaz whenever he’s ready and he really wants to fight again. Because I think we’re just waiting to see what he wants to do. We’d love to be in that mix so it’s just going to be a matter of time I think.”
For Ngannou, he had more to say. Ngannou has been public about wanting to do boxing and not being able to while he was with the UFC, Bellator has not been so restrictive with their fighters. Cris “Cyborg” Justino who is the featherweight champion at Bellator MMA has already started a pro boxing career and has gone 2-0 with her return coming to Bellator likely this summer.
Coker had more details on Ngannou and said that SHOWTIME Sports President Stephen Espinoza had communicated with the former UFC heavyweight champion.
“Stephen from Showtime on the boxing side President of SHOWTIME Sports had a conversation with Francis the other day when I was traveling,” said Coker. “ Basically, he said look this is a great opportunity because you’re on the boxing side you have Showtime pay-per-view. We have all the biggest fights they just announced the Ryan Garcia versus Tank Davis fight. So the big fights happen on Showtime pay-per-view so they could offer him the boxing and we could offer him MMA. I think it would be a great home for Francis.”
On paper, it certainly seems like it. Check out Coker’s full post Bellator 291 scrum above.
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 20 years martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour, and also writes for Sherdog while maintaining his own site, The Blogboard Jungle. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel