The long quest to open the doors to sport in France finally resulted in legalization in January, allowing organizations to gain a foothold in an untapped market.
“It was quite a long time, but I think people all over the world got to see some great fights in France,” Coker told reporters after Bellator Paris. “We are the very first large organization to come here. It was the “last frontier” I call it, and it was a huge success tonight.
“Obviously, being the first big organization in France to promote here and bring MMA to this country, it was truly an honor. There were other organizations that wanted to be here and for (the country) to work with us first, that said a big statement in itself.
Coker deemed the evening a success and sees it as a great victory for the company.
“It was a very special occasion,” Coker said. “It was a tough process, but I’m glad we did. It is such a victory that in the MMA history books we will be the first major MMA show in France.
Coker said the two events were the last European Cards of the Year promotion. He expects to be back in France next year, depending on the evolution of the ongoing global pandemic over the long term.
“It 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 the AccorHotels Arena but we will see how the COVID situation is going. We have loads of foreign and European athletes that we need to keep busy, so whether they’re fighting here (in Europe) or they’re fighting in the States, we’re going to keep these guys busy.