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Scott Coker hoped ‘for a different fight’ than Patricio Freire vs. Pedro Carvalho

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Bellator president Scott Coker likes how the selection process for the Bellator featherweight grand prix quarterfinals bracket played out, but he wishes the next title fight was different than what it is.

In the grand prix lottery Saturday night at Bellator 228, the eight quarter-finalists selected who they would be facing in the next round and when. Bellator champion Patricio Freire had final pick and overrode an earlier matchup (which he had the ability to do as titleholder), choosing to fight Pedro Carvalho in March. That automatically moved Darrion Caldwell to a January bout with Adam Borics.

Coker said after the event that knowing Freire wanted to fight in March, he was hoping the Brazilian would choose Caldwell, not Carvalho.

“For me personally, there’s some fighters that I thought were interesting, but I was hoping for a different fight at the very end,” Coker said at the Bellator 228 post-fight press conference. “But I think he picked who he wanted to fight. He’s the champ, he gets to do what he wants to do.

“I thought that when Pitbull had the shot, I thought he was going to fight DC. I thought he wanted him really badly. It went the other way, so now he has some interesting fights on both sides. If you keep winning, you’ll fight each other anyway at the end. So it’s going to be fine.”

The Bellator featherweight grand prix quarterfinals, which run from December to March, also include A.J. McKee vs. Derek Campos and Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Daniel Weichel 2.

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