Bellator's newly minted president, Scott Coker, is looking to arrange one of the biggest matchups in MMA history.
Speaking with the press after Friday's Bellator 123 in Connecticut, Coker dropped a bombshell when asked about the likelihood of a potential matchup between Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko happening under the Bellator banner.
His response, which was captured by MMAJunkie.com's Dann Stupp and Christian Stein, portrayed a shred of optimism that usually doesn't pop up in talks surrounding this super fight.
'You know, that’s a fight I personally would love to see, but I just don’t know if it’s going to happen,' Coker said during the press conference. 'Randy? He’s dancing with the stars now. I mean, he’s not going to want to go fight Fedor now that he’s hanging out with some good-lookin’ girls dancing every night. But we’ll see him next. We’ll talk to him and see what he has to say.'
While Couture is indeed slated to appear on the upcoming season of the hit dance competition show, the more mysterious and potentially troublesome variable in this equation is the Russian heavyweight Emelianenko.
Emelianenko and his management team, M-1 Global, are notoriously private and difficult to work with, but Coker and Bellator appear to have cracked the code. Regarding talks with the Russian's camp, Coker said the gate has been lifted and negotiations are ready to pass.
"All I can say is that we’re in dialogue with M-1, but that’s all I have to say at this time about that,” Coker said.
Of course, a fight between Couture and Emelianenko would have been massive when both fighters were in their primes, but this matchup still represents a hugely intriguing bout for MMA fans across the globe.
At 34-4 (1), Emelianenko is one of the most successful heavyweights of all time, and he went undefeated from April 2001 to June 2010, a stretch encompassing 28 fights and victories over legends such as Mark Coleman, Mark Hunt, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.
Couture (19-11), on the other hand, never enjoyed the sustained winning streak of Emelianenko, but he was an integral part of the UFC's emergence as a global powerhouse in the MMA space. Combined, the UFC Hall of Famer won the UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight title a record five times, including a title-fight victory over Tim Sylvia at the age of 43 in 2007.
Both fighters have fallen off a bit toward the end of their careers, but there's no doubt that if Bellator can make this fight happen, fans will eagerly tune in and invite their friends to watch history.