On Friday night, Vadim Nemkov took one of Ryan Bader’s belts away and is Bellator’s new light heavyweight champion. With the UFC’s Jon Jones apparently moving up to heavyweight, Bellator CEO Scott Coker pushed that fight as a battle to see who was the best light heavyweight in the world, and indicated that they have the best light heavyweight division now.
As you can imagine, UFC president Dana White wasn’t really a fan of that statement.
“Isn’t he cute?” White said.
Later on, White elaborated on his thoughts about the subject (via MMA Fighting):
“Everybody they have in their light heavyweight division, we let go of,” he said. “He’s got the best light heavyweight division? We let those guys all go. It’s like the f—king dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
“But I get it. He’s gotta try to f—king do his thing. I’m not sh-tting on him. He’s gotta try to do his thing. He’s got to try and sell fights. The way you don’t sell fights is, ‘Oh, I’ve got the best light heavyweight division in the world.’ Everybody that was there was let go from here. That’s a pretty silly statement.”
While Nedkov has never stepped into the UFC’s Octagon, White isn’t exactly wrong with what he said. Bader himself had a long UFC career, and when a few other guys like Phil Davis, Lyoto Machida, and just recently, Corey Anderson wanted to get a bump in pay, they moved over to Bellator – with varying results.
Earlier today, ESPN posted a tweet matching up the champions in each company. And Coker couldn’t resist taking a jab back at Dana:
.@ESPNMMA you must be feeling ‘cute’ today. https://t.co/qg7HZiqNVy
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) August 24, 2020
The UFC will crown a new 205-pound champion at UFC 253 on September 26th when Dominick Reyes takes on Jan Blachowicz.
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