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Bellator planning up to 24 shows and international expansion for 2016

Bellator CEO Scott Coker says that his promotion will be running more events in 2016 and will be taking their show outside of North America for the first time.

Araya Diaz/Getty Images

After taking some time to assess where Bellator MMA stands, CEO Scott Coker is ready to expand a bit in 2016. In an interview with MMA Junkie, the former Strikeforce boss indicated that the promotion will be running more events next year and is set upon branching out beyond the realm of North America. Here's what he had to say in regards to running more events and why it had to wait until now:

"This year, (we'll have) 16 fights. Next year, we're going to do about 22 to 24 fights. So we're going to increase the volume. We'll go from four ‘tent pole' events to seven, and one of them will be the ‘Dynamite' show. It's kind of developing into a brand of its own."


"When I came into the company, I said, ‘We don’t have the roster right now to be doing 24 fights a year.

"We need to step back. Then we can ramp up. I feel like we’re in a little bit of a groove (now)," Coker said.

To date, every Bellator event has been in run in the United States, with the exception of seven that took place in Canada. It looks like that will change in 2016:

"Next year, we’re also going to do some international fights. I just got back from Tel Aviv in Israel – we have a TV deal there. I was in Italy. I was in London. We have deals in the Middle East. We have a deal in Southeast Asia. There are 140 countries that watch Bellator every time we throw a fight (card). We’re in the process of deciding where we’re going to go, but these international shows are going to be off the hook next year and I’m really excited."

The promotion will run their first Dynamite show, a hybrid MMA/kickboxing event, on September 19th in San Jose. There are five more events currently set before the end of 2015.

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