Despite much fan and media interest in a few UFC free agents and where they were going to end up, it turned out that two of them decided to stay with the UFC. Heavyweight Alistair Overeem and bantamweight Aljamain Sterling recently announced their decision to stick around the octagon, and now Bellator CEO Scott Coker has opened up about negotiations with each man.
Or, more accurately, a lack of serious negotiations. Overeem stated earlier this week that he hadn't talked to Bellator, but Coker clarified the situation to MMA Fighting:
"I don't want to make a big deal out of it, but of course there were negotiations going on. It's true that Alistair wasn't talking to me directly, because his agent or manager or lawyer was talking to me. I think that's kind of what the story is, and negotiations went back and forth, and at the end of the day we chose not to make an offer. And really what it came down to was a value proposition of what he wanted and what he thought was the market value for him."
He also mentioned that Sterling wasn't offered a deal:
"And same thing with Sterling," he said. "I mean, Sterling was offered to us, and we just didn't make an offer. We decided not to engage with any conversations toward him. We have other plans for our 135-pound weight class, we have other plans for our heavyweights and also a our light heavyweights. There are other free agents that are on the market that we're going to go after. There's a lot of fighters out there right now."
So, it seems like Overeem wanted too much money for Bellator, and they didn't have any interest in Sterling. That's certainly something.