Bellator is all set to kick off a stellar lightweight tournament at Bellator 292 on March 10, and the organization’s president Scott Coker said his promotion’s lineup of fighters has never looked better.

Speaking in Dublin after Bellator’s latest successful trip to the 3Arena, Coker broke down the upcoming Bellator Lightweight World Grand Prix, and hailed the quality of the overall promotion’s roster as he prepared to launch into the busiest spell in the promotion’s history.

“I think that Chael (Sonnen) said it best at the press conference in Los Angeles, because I thought this is this is probably one of the best lightweight tournaments in the history of the sport, right?“ he said.

“Chael’s like, ‘No. You’re wrong. This is one of the best tournaments in the sport, ever.’ I looked it up and I said, ‘Man, this is a gauntlet of killers in here.’

“If you look at the fights, starting with March 10: Usman (Nurmagomedov) fighting Benson (Henderson), (Alexander) Shabliy versus (Tofiq) Musayev. And then we go to AJ McKee fighting (Patricky) Pitbull, and (Mansour) Barnaoui fighting Brent Primus, and that is a tremendous lineup. I’m really looking forward to it, that’s gonna be a great year for us.”

The Lightweight World Grand Prix may be the showpiece element to Bellator’s 2023 schedule, but Coker said he was delighted with how things have been developing with Bellator overall.

Coker paid tribute to his roster of fighters, and stated that his top champions weren’t just good enough to be considered the best in Bellator – they’re good enough to be considered the best on the planet.

“I think that we’ve been on a roll,” he continued.

“We’ve been putting out some great fights all over the world, and we’re going to continue doing it, I think this is the best roster we’ve ever had.

“If you look at the 205-pound weight class, I think we have the best fighter in the world. 185, we have the best fighter in the world. 170, we have the best fighter in the world. We could fight anybody. And even in the lighter weights, I think ’45, I think ’55. Whoever wins this tournament, to me, should be the best lightweight in the world. I mean, that’s how I feel, and to have to be able to say that after five, six years of building this roster, it feels really good. Because these guys are exceptional athletes.

“When I first came here, it wasn’t like that. This was not the Bellator it is today. You know, it was a very small organisation, small show. And it’s come a long way. And you know, now we’re on a good roll.”