Bellator will hold an event in Paris, France on Oct. 10, multiple sources say.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 11, 2020
This will mark the first major MMA event ever in France. MMA was finally recognized as a legal sport in France earlier this year.
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Editor's note: The article has been updated at 11:50 a.m. on Sept. 11 to reflect additional information released by the organization.
Bellator MMA is blazing a new path never traveled by any major MMA promotion.
On Thursday night, ESPN announced that the organization based out of California would be putting on a card on Oct. 10. The card now has two fights scheduled: Cheick Kongo (30-10-2, 1 NC) against Tim Johnson (14-6) at heavyweight, and Michael Page (17-1) taking on Ross Houston (8-0, 1 NC) in the welterweight division. The card is scheduled to take place at the Accor Arena in Paris, and a limited number of fans will be allowed to attend. According to Bellator, at least nine other French fighters will appear on the card besides Kongo. Should this event stay intact, it would be the first in major MMA history to be held in the European country. The sport was legalized at the beginning of 2020 in France, and Bellator will be the first to plant its flag.
This is not the first uncharted territory that Bellator has approached before other organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The promotion has put on multiple cards in Israel over the years. Additionally, Bellators 212 and 213 took place in Honolulu at the end of 2018, and the company helmed by Scott Coker returned the following year in December. Coker will be hosting a brief press conference on Friday, and this news could be confirmed as part of his “special announcement.”
The transition to France would follow a reported stretch of four fight cards in Milan, Italy, over the span of less than two weeks, according to sources for Sherdog.com. An event previously scheduled for Dublin on Oct. 3 has become the fourth of those Milan shows, and it is unclear if the headliner of Patricky Freire vs. Peter Queally will remain atop that relocated event. The following week, Bellator would head to France for the first time ever.
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