Bellator’s historic dual-card event in Paris on Saturday night marks not only a landmark moment for the sport in France, it also opens the doors for MMA to prosper and grow in a country that has already produced a host of notable fighters, despite the sport’s previous ban.

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Bellator 248 and Bellator Europe 10 will take place at the Accor Arena in Paris Saturday night and, ahead of the event, IMMAF president Kerrith Brown issued a statement to MMA Junkie wishing the promotion all the best for their upcoming show.

“IMMAF wishes the best of luck to Bellator for their historic event in Paris this weekend, as we celebrate the opening of doors to MMA in France,” he began. “Together with its French national federation, headed by IMMAF Board Director Bertrand Amoussou, and other stakeholders in the sport, IMMAF has campaigned long and hard for the legalization and governance of MMA in France.”

Gallery: Matchup roundup: New UFC and Bellator fights announced in the past week (Sept. 28-Oct. 4) (SMG)

Brown also said that, while the presence of one of the sport’s major global promotions in France is a big development, it also opens the door for the sport to be more professionally managed and regulated from the grassroots up as MMA receives official recognition in France.

“Professional events reflect just the tip of the iceberg, as we continue to work with the newly formed French MMA Federation, under French boxing, to develop structures for the sport such as training pathways, coaches and officials licensing, and so on,” he explained. “We look forward to seeing MMA flourish in France now, as a well-regulated sport that puts its participants first.”


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