LONDON–Bellator MMA President Scott Coker detailed the Paul Daley vs. Rory MacDonald fight and also revealed that the son of Kimbo Slice will feature on Bellator 179.
Bellator held a press conference at the Royal Garden Hotel in South Kensington to announce their London show on May 19, which will take place at Wembley Arena.
Featured at the event were Daley and Michael “Venom” Page, who had their own war of words after MVP accused “Semtex” of ducking a fight against him.
Scott Coker reacts to Paul Daley vs. Rory MacDonald
Following the official proceedings, Coker spoke to MMA Plus about the brand’s return to England and the details behind booking the Daley, MacDonald main event.
“When we signed Rory, we said internally, he should fight Paul Daley, that’s going to be a fight, that’s going to be an amazing fight,” explained Coker on Thursday afternoon. “I think that’s the fight worldwide fans will want to see.”
Coker revealed that the winner of Daley and MacDonald will be the next in line to fight for the welterweight championship, which is currently held by Douglas Lima.
As for Page, his opponent is expected to be announced in the next week. Coker commented on the fan disappointment that Daley wouldn’t be fighting MVP, adding: “That fight will happen, but It’ll just be the right time before we make that fight happen.”
The Bellator President didn’t expect MacDonald back yet
MacDonald signed for Bellator in August, 2016 and after recovering from some serious injuries, is finally set to make his debut. However, even the Bellator President admitted that he didn’t expect the “Red King” to return yet.
“When we signed him we knew he was injured and he had some surgeries and trying to heal up. So we knew that going into it and we thought that, listen, let him wait until he’s ready. Now he’s ready and he’s already started his training camp and this is a fight I’m really looking forward to, it’s going to be amazing.
“This only happened like a week ago. We didn’t think Rory was going to be ready. But I got a call from Rich [Chou] probably four or five days ago, and said ‘hey Rory’s in, if you want him you can fight him for Daley, he’ll come to London and fight’.”
Remembering Kimbo Slice and his son continuing his legacy
Bellator 179 will mark the promotion’s second show from the English capital, following on from Bellator 158 last July, which was also main evented by Daley. Originally slated to top the billing at the o2 was the late Kimbo Slice, but his untimely passing a month before the show came as a big blow to the MMA world.
In a touching moment, Coker gave his candid memory of the larger than life character that is Kimbo and announced that his son, “Baby Slice” will feature on the London card, in a truly fitting moment for the fans and promotion.
“Not only was he the highest rated for [Bellator], he was the highest rated fighter, ever, think about that and it’s because of who he was. He was a fighter but he just had that charisma man, that X factor, you just don’t know what it is, people just gravitate to him and want to see him.
“We were really good friends, man, I really miss the guy, he’s like our family but I’m really proud that his son chose to come with us and I’ll tell you now [Baby Slice] he’s going to come fight here on the card.”