Scott Coker reacts to Bellator’s 5-0 win vs. Rizin FF: ‘This is the best roster we’ve ever had’

Scott Coker reacts to Bellator’s 5-0 win vs. Rizin FF: ‘This is the best roster we’ve ever had’

Bellator boss Scott Coker saw his team go unbeaten in their clash against Rizin FF on Saturday.

In a promotion vs. promotion event to close out 2022, Bellator fighters went 5-0, giving their American promotion a clean sweep at Saturday’s Rizin FF vs. Bellator event in Japan. The fights took place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, near Tokyo. The main card airs on Showtime via tape delay at 8 p.m. ET.

These bouts included A.J. McKee defeating Rizin FF lightweight champion Roberto de Souza in the main event of the card, Patricio Freire topping Kleber Koike Erbst in the co-main, Kyoji Horiguchi outpointing Hiromasa Ougikubo, Juan Archuleta beating Soo Chul Kim, and to open up the main card Gadzhi Rabadanov defeating Koji Takeda.

Coker is happy with the result, but feels that perfect record could’ve been denied in the final fight of the card.

“I always said my wish was to go 5-0, and I’m happy that my guys won, but to me, it was very competitive out there,” Coker told reporters at the post-fight press conference. “That last fight, de Souza when he was fighting A.J., there were a couple of times I thought he might get tapped.

“It was very stressful to watch that last fight. It was very back and forth. I’m glad A.J. did what he had to do to win. But anything can happen in a fight in MMA. It was an entertaining night of fights.”

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Although the record might indicate it was a one-sided affair, Coker thinks the Rizin FF fighters held their own. He also believes Bellator is the strongest its ever been talent wise and that a similar result could be expected against other MMA promotions.

“It just shows you how much the Rizin fighters to me have grown in the last five, six years,” Coker said. “I see a big growth spur. Keep in mind, when you talk about the Bellator athletes, and I’m not just saying this because you know it’s the company I run, but over the last six, seven years, this is the best roster we’ve ever had in the history of the company. …

“If you go all the way down the weight classes, we not just have fighters that can compete in the UFC, but we have fighters at three or four in each weight class that can compete against any company on the planet. We have a very strong, strong fighter base right now.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Rizin FF 40: Rizin vs. Bellator.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie