Coker’s comments follow Steveson’s incredible success at the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In freestyle, the Indiana-born wrestler secured a gold medal after defeating three-time and reigning World Champion Geno Petriashvili in the final.
After expressing an interest in mixed martial arts, the combat sports world has begun to wonder where Steveson could end up in the next few years.
Despite likely facing competition from a host of other promotions for Steveson’s signing, including the UFC, Coker firmly believes Bellator is the best home for the 21-year-old wrestling sensation.
Speaking to reporters following Friday’s Bellator 264 event, Coker addressed Steveson’s desire to transition to either professional wrestling or MMA. The Bellator kingpin revealed that contact has already been made with the free agent’s team, but says the gold medallist’s focus will remain on wrestling for now.
“I can tell you this, that we’ve already been in touch with his management,” Coker said. “I do know that he has a couple years left of school and wants to go back and wrestle. There’s dialogue going on, but he really wants to wrestle right now.” (h/t MMA Junkie)
Coker added that when Steveson is ready to commit to an MMA switch, he’ll be ready and waiting to bring the future star over to his promotion, which he believes is the best in the business at nurturing and developing young talents.
“If he wants to come to MMA, we’ve love to have him here. Nobody builds athletes from wrestling or ground up like we do. I think we’re the best at it. I think we’d be a great home for him.”
Daniel Cormier, who is also a former decorated wrestler and Olympian, recently suggested Steveson should follow the “Brock Lesnar approach” when deciding who to sign with. “DC” was able to make a successful transition from wrestling to MMA, having gone on to become just the second fighter to hold two UFC title simultaneously. But in his view, Steveson would be better off building his stock with a stint in WWE first.
Who do you think Gable Steveson should sign with? Bellator, the UFC, or WWE?