Bellator MMA could break more international ground before year’s end.
According to a report from the42.ie, the California-based promotion could hold an event in Ireland sometime in 2016. Next year, Bellator could have an even greater presence on “The Emerald Isle.”
“I can’t talk in too much detail just yet but I think you’ll see us in Ireland sooner than you might expect. Probably before the end of this year we’ll have a fight in Ireland,” Bellator President Scott Coker said.
“As you know, Bellator is owned by Viacom -- who owns Channel 5 and Spike UK -- so I think that you’ll see us in that territory, and Ireland, this year and you’ll probably see us there four times next year.”
Thus far in 2016, Bellator has already traveled to London and Italy, with a future card set for Tel Aviv, Israel, on Nov. 10.
Buoyed by the rise of Conor McGregor, the UFC has held an event in Ireland each year for the past three years, including the upcoming Nov. 19 card in Belfast. Currently, 19-year-old James Gallagher, a native of Northern Ireland and training partner of McGregor, is the most prominent Irish fighter on the Bellator roster. However, Coker told the42.oe that the promotion is looking to add more talent from that region.
“We’re working with some of the top camps in the UK and Ireland in trying to find the up-and-coming new talent that will be the future of the sport,” Coker said. “There are a lot of great fighters from that region and we’re always looking for the next guy or girl to bring to Bellator.”