Over the weekend, Scott Coker promoted the first major mixed martial arts event in France with the stacked Bellator 248 card.
It took many years for France to formally legalize MMA, but once the country opened that door, Coker and Bellator sprung into action, laying out plans for the first major MMA event in the country.
In hindsight, Coker is very pleased to have been part of MMA history in this way.
“I think the people around the world got to see some great fights in France,” Coker said following the event in Paris (via MMA Junkie). “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,” Coker added. “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.
“This was a very special occasion. 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.”
Over the last few years, Coker has helped Bellator develop a significant foothold in Europe, and this Paris event is the latest example of that success. Coker says the promotion has big plans for Europe in the new year, barring any COVID-19 related shake-ups.
“This was our last fight in Europe this year and we’ll be back next year at some point,” Coker said. “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.”
What did you think of Bellator’s big debut in France? Are you impressed Scott Coker and his team pulled it off during the pandemic?