When VanZant stepped into the Octagon at UFC 251 to fight Amanda Ribas, it was the final fight on her contract. She had been open to the fact she wanted to test free agency, and after being submitted in the first round, Dana White even told her she should look at free agency.
Now, Coker confirmed the promotion is interested in her and will plan to talk to her very soon. “You know, to be honest, I don’t think we’ve had a business conversation yet,” Coker said to MMAFighting (h/t BJPENN.com). “We definitely have a relationship with her and her husband, her camp, her management, so we definitely will reach out here when she gets back and settled. She’s back but she’s probably still settling from the trip. From what I heard, it wasn’t a very fun time over there. But listen, do we want to be in the Paige VanZant business? We definitely want to have a conversation with her.”
Paige VanZant’s husband, Austin Vanderford currently competes in the middleweight division for Bellator where he is undefeated. So, the promotion has dealt with that family before and many pundits have expected that VanZant will sign with the Viacom-owned promotion.
Bellator is always looking for new challengers for flyweight champ Ilima-Lei MacFarlane, and a fight against Paige VanZant would be massive. So, Coker says they will be having a conversation with her very soon.
“I would say that we’re going to do our best to have a serious conversation with her in the near future,” Coker confirmed.