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Bellator Sets Sights on Missouri

By Matt Frazier | Knuckle Junkies

It's been talked about, its been rumored, but today the official announcement is here. Bellator Fighting Championships will make it's first trip to St. Louis in 2015.

St. Louis-based Shamrock FC, the promotion responsible for bringing Strikeforce to St. Louis on three occasions will play an active role in Bellator's Missouri operations. Fans of Strikeforce will remember the highly anticipated rematch between Dan Henderson and Renato Sobral that took place on December of 2010.

Long-time friends Jesse Finney and newly appointed Bellator President Scott Coker are partnering up again once again.

"There is a deal in place with Bellator. We are teaming up for 2015," Finney said. "We'll be bringing Bellator to St. Louis and KC markets. Up to 3-4 times a year."

Coker has spoke highly of the Midwest and eyes the opportunity to work with a trusted ally.

"I'm very excited to be working with Shamrock again." Coker said. "I look forward to a long term relationship."

St. Louis and Bellator have strong ties with Bellator poster boy Michael Chandler, the former Bellator lightweight champ, hailing from Jefferson County, having attended Northwest High in High Ridge, MO.

Part of the partnership between Bellator and Shamrock will include a deal where any Shamrock FC champion will automatically be given a Bellator contract.

"Once they win our belt," Finney said. "They will be automatically be given a contract on the spot, if they choose to sign with Bellator."

Fans of Bellator can expect a completely new product in 2015.

"Together we're going to be doing big shows with Bellator. Just like Strikeforce." Finney said. "Next year Bellator will be doing less shows, bigger venues, and that's exactly what we'll be bringing to St. Louis and Kansas City."

The Shamrock FC calendar for 2015 including Bellator dates will be released in the next couple of weeks with up to 22 professional MMA shows between the two markets.

"It's going to be big, big for the whole state of Missouri." Finney said. "We're excited. We're going to keep elevating and keep evolving. In addition to that, we'll be releasing news on a TV deal in the near future."

Shamrock FC returns to Kansas City on Saturday, September 27th.

For more on Shamrock FC visit