Bellator MMA will be scouting Europe for top up-and-coming talent in 2024.
Following Bellator 296 in Paris, France on Friday, where England’s Fabian Edwards defeated Dutch OG Gegard Mousasi in the main event, promotion president Scott Coker shed some light on the company’s future plans.
The landing spot for Edwards to take on middleweight champ Johnny Eblen — who was on hand for a post-event face-off with his next challenger — will be Dublin, Ireland in September, confirmed Coker.
The promotion will also continue to focus on Europe, where it has made inroads in recent years. While confirming a return to Paris in 2024, Coker added “one thing that we’re considering and working on is the events that we’re going to produce, maybe next year, more of a series of events hopefully in Europe, and some more dates in France, that will be like a Challenger Series.”
“We’ll be looking for the next big star in France. Because I believe that — you saw the talent level here, and it’s very good. They just need more fights, more reps, and to just stay busy. If we keep these guys busy, they’re going to do very well on the worldwide circuit.”
Coker also confirmed that prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Bellator had a date booked in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. That went by the wayside between COVID and the CBS/Viacom merger, which Bellator fell under. “We would love to come to Amsterdam, maybe even in 2024. I think sooner than later,” said Coker, praising the talented Dutch fighters who have emerged over the years. “We would love to go there and continue the Bellator tradition, and grow MMA in Holland.”
Watch the full Bellator 296 post-fight press conference with Scott Coker above.