Bellator president Scott Coker is proud to have made history on Saturday.
Coker is grateful after hosting the first major mixed martial arts event in France with Bellator 248 and Bellator Europe 10, which went down at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris.
The long quest to open the doors to the sport in France finally culminated in legalization in January, enabling organizations to take their operations into an untapped market.
“It was quite long, but I think the people around the world got to see some great fights in France,” Coker told reporters following Bellator Paris. “We’re the first ever major organization to come here. It was the ‘final frontier’ I call it, and it was a huge success tonight.
“Obviously to be the first major organization in France to promote here and bring MMA to this country really it was quite an honor. There was other organizations that wanted to be here and for the (country) to work with us first that says a big statement in its self.”
Coker deemed the evening a success and sees it as a big victory for the company.
“This was a very special occasion,” Coker said. “It was a difficult process, but I’m glad we did it. It’s such a victory that in the history books of MMA we will be down as the first major MMA show in the country of France.”
Coker said the two events were the promotion’s last European cards for the year. He expects to be back in France sometime next year, depending on how the ongoing global pandemic plays out in the long term.
“This was our last fight in Europe this year and we’ll be back next year at some point,” Coker explained. “We already have a date for AccorHotels Arena but we’re going to see how the COVID situation goes. We have a tremendous amount of foreign and European athletes that we need to keep busy so whether they fight here (in Europe) or they fight in the states we’re going to keep these guys busy.”