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Scott Coker talks Fedor, Ryan Bader, Fight Fixing, and more

Bellator 172 is a mere two days away, and that means we are only two days away from Fedor Emelianenko making his walk down the ramp on American soil again.

Yesterday, Luke Thomas had Bellator president Scott Coker on his SiriusXM radio show, “The Luke Thomas Show”, to discuss all things Bellator.

Here are some of the highlights…

On why Fedor is able to work with him over the UFC:

  • “It’s based on relationships. We built a friendship, we started working right before Strikeforce. And if you recall, Fedor at that time was coming into a tournament that put together 8 of the best heavyweights. 7 of those guys were top 10 in the world.”
  • “Ever since that tournament we kinda developed a bond.”
  • “It’s a good relationship and he trusts me and I trust him.”

On how different it is working with Fedor now versus in the past:

  • “It’s so much easier because before you had M-1 in the middle, and Vadim [Finkelstein] and I didn’t always see eye to eye. There was a certain lack of trust between I and our counterparts there.”
  • “It’s hard doing business when you’re always looking over your shoulder and we try to do everything the right way, and it was tough with those guys.”
  • “Fedor was just a third party in that deal and this time it was so much simpler. We cut a deal once we got on the phone within 45 minutes.”
  • “To move anything with M-1 was really like a chore. It was challenging to say the least.”

On where they are with Ryan Bader:

  • “We’re waiting for the official response. We put in an offer and we’re waiting for the management to get back to us and say ‘this is what happened on the other end’ and whether they’re going to match it or not. So we’re just kind of in a holding pattern here.”

On when we’ll see Chael Sonnen again:

  • “Maybe sometime in the summertime is what we’re thinking.”

On why fight fixing allegations follow Bellator:

  • “Let’s face it, who’s starting these rumors? The guy driving it was a commentator for UFC in the UK.”
  • “It’s so ridiculous it doesn’t even deserve a response.”

On whether he thinks Tito Ortiz will stay retired:

  • “Yeah I think he’s done. We had a nice chat, he wants to spend time with his family.”

Coker also touched on Matt Mitrione, Rampage Jackson, and free agency in mixed martial arts.

Check out the full interview below and hear Scott’s thoughts on all things MMA and Bellator: