Scott Coker Explains Why Jon Fitch Is Backup Fighter For Bellator 222 Headliner

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Scott Coker
Fernando Quiles Jr., MMA News

Bellator president Scott Coker has detailed the decision to have Jon Fitch serve as a backup fighter for the main event of Bellator 222.

The Bellator 222 media day session ended with a scrum for the Bellator boss. Coker touched on a number of topics. One of those was Fitch as a backup fighter for the Welterweight World Grand Prix semifinal title bout between Rory MacDonald and Neiman Gracie. Fitch had told MMA News that he was brought in to New York City in case MacDonald had to pull out.

Coker Addresses Having Fitch As Backup Fighter

MMA News attended the Bellator 222 media day session and asked Coker about Fitch’s role. Coker made it clear that the decision was made in the event that either MacDonald or Gracie can’t compete at the last minute:

“So here’s what the situation with Jon Fitch was. I think Jon’s gonna come to New York and he will be here in case there’s an injury to either side. So we wanted to have a backup for either side of the bracket just in case there was an injury. So for instance, if Neiman was hurt it would’ve been Fitch against Rory again. Or if Rory was hurt then we’d have a backup because we didn’t want the tournament to have a hiccup where there was no fight. So we basically worked something out with Fitch to continue to train, continue to be ready and basically worked something out with him to be a standby in case one of the fighters got hurt.”

MacDonald told MMA News that he’s healthy and is unsure why Fitch was brought in as a backup fighter. “Red King” didn’t participate in the open workouts yesterday (June 12), but he said he wanted to focus on relaxing and cutting weight.

Both MacDonald and Gracie made weight earlier today. Jon Fitch also tipped the scales and made championship weight at 169.2 pounds.