Bellator set to stage its first show in Ireland before the end of the year

The company only held its first European show this summer

Bellator set to stage its first show in Ireland before the end of the year

Picture by: Gregory Payan AP/Press Association Images

The second biggest MMA promotion in the world look set to host their first event in Ireland in the coming months.

Bellator, a California-based company, were founded in 2008 and only held their first events in Europe this year. After fight cards in Turin, London and Budapest, other confirmed events are scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv and Florence in 2016.

No date has yet been set for an Irish card, but Dublin seems the most likely venue. UFC, Bellator's main rivals are holding an event in Belfast in November.

Speaking to, Bellator President Scott Coker said he expected the promotion to come to Ireland in the coming months.

"I can’t talk in too much detail just yet but I think you’ll see us in Ireland sooner than you might expect. Probably before the end of this year we’ll have a fight in Ireland."

"As you know, Bellator is owned by Viacom — who owns Channel 5 and Spike UK — so I think that you’ll see us in that territory, [the UK] and Ireland, this year and you’ll probably see us there four times next year."

Bellator currently has one Irish fighter in their roster. James Gallagher, the 19-year-old Tyrone fighter made his debut with the company in July and is currently 4-0 as a professional. The SBG fighter is in action again in Tel Aviv later this year.

Coker feels the sky is the limit for the 'The Strabanimal'. "He’s a talented fighter but he also brings more than just fighting to the table. How he carries himself outside of the cage, he’s years ahead of his age in terms of how he handles himself. It’s really impressive for such a young guy. What he achieves will be up to him."

With news of Bellator's impending arrival, it will mean they will join the UFC and BAMMA in hosting events in 2016. That can only be a positive for Irish MMA fans.