Scott Coker: Bellator discussing year-end Rizin event in Japan with possible Fedor return

In the midst of Bellator’s featherweight tournament and fall schedule announcements, company president Scott Coker might have something else up his sleeve for the end of 2019.

In an appearance on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” on ESPN.com, Coker was asked about the possibility of a cross-promotion show with Rizin in December. While Coker did not say the event is set, he confirmed the two parties have been in talks for a year-end show.

Will it be a cross promotion event? A lending of fighters? A Bellator-promoted show? Coker is unsure, but he’s hoping the two parties can get something done.

“There’s nothing confirmed,” Coker said. “As people already know, we’ve been talking to Sakakibara about doing some type of event together. We haven’t decided if it’s going to be a ‘co-pro,’ fight sharing, a Bellator event by itself. But I’d love nothing more than to be in Japan sometime in December throwing a big fight there at Saitama Super Arena, where all the big fights happen.”

While he indicated the planning for said event is in its preliminary stages, Coker said one MMA legend might make his return to the cage if all the pieces fall into place. Fedor Emelianenko’s rise to fame occurred largely during his time with the PRIDE and Rings promotions in Japan.

“That’s something that we’re definitely working on,” Coker said. “It’s a situation where we haven’t finalized the details, Sakakibara and myself. Once that gets done, we can talk about the athletes. I would love to have Fedor fight in Japan because I think it’d be so much fun to watch that fight.”

As for potential opponents for Emelianenko (38-6 MMA, 2-2 BMMA), Coker mentioned two names – both of whom he openly expressed interest in matching the Russian fighter with in a news conference earlier this year.

“Whether it’s a Japanese fighter or he fights (Quinton) ‘Rampage’ Jackson or Josh Barnett, or whoever, I think it would just be a magical night to see him back in the Bellator cage in Tokyo,” Coker said.

Emelianenko, 42, re-signed with the promotion in June. Coker deemed the deal “Fedor’s retirement tour” and confirmed it was a “multi-fight, multi-year deal.”

The Russian heavyweight has split his four Bellator appearances to date. After losing to Matt Mitrione in his promotional debut, Emelianenko entered the Bellator heavyweight grand prix. In the tournament, Emelianenko finished Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen, but lost to Ryan Bader in the final.

For more on upcoming Bellator events, check out the MMA Schedule.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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