Scott Coker and Bellator MMA have brought their fights to Hawaii for the first time and during Bellator’s recent press conference, Coker said the location is ideal for a Bellator versus RIZIN event. While this week’s focus is on the back-to-back events in Hawaii, Bellator’s bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell will represent them in a RIZIN title fight against Kyoji Horiguchi on New Year’s Eve.
Coker said that he and RIZIN Chairman Nobuyuki Sakakibara had already spoken about it and Hawaii seems to work best for both promotions to have their brands face one another. “There’s a lot of good things, a lot of good dialogue between us and other promotions,” said Coker and that, “It all starts on New Year’s Eve with Horiguchi versus Darrion Caldwell.”
In the past Bellator has worked with BAMMA and also promotes their own kickboxing promotion, a sport RIZIN has also featured in their past events. The RIZIN New Year’s Eve event also features the exhibition boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Tenshin Nasukawa. Special rules matches for unique bouts is something RIZIN has done before, Nasukawa faced Horiguchi in a kickboxing match this past September where Nasukawa won via decision.
While Coker did not elaborate on the dialogue or the other promotions that are interested in working together, the possibilities are still there to feature crossover events with some of Bellator’s biggest names against fresh opponents. Coker had a vision for his DYNAMITE events and it was originally to feature MMA, boxing and kickboxing. Coker said he believed the possibility is there now given the partnership with DAZN, in October Coker said a meeting with Eddie Hearn of Match room boxing was to happen to see, “how can we make this possible.”
While nothing else regarding boxing has come up yet, if DAZN is the bridge where fighters can cross and meet for matches, there are a lot of options to think about.
Would you like to see more crossover events in 2019?