PRESS RELEASE: LOS ANGELES – Bellator will hold its first event in Genoa, Italy on Saturday, December 1 at RDS Stadium with Italian superstar Alessio Sakara (20-12, 2 NC) taking on Kent Kauppinen (10-4) in a light heavyweight main event. The co-headliner will see Bellator Kickboxing featherweight world champ Gabriel Varga (16-6) put his title on the line against Genoa’s own Shan Cangelosi (10-6).
Having held previous events in Rome, Florence and Turin, this marks Bellator’s sixth overall trip to Italy. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through Bellator.it and Bellator.com.
The event will be overseen in Italy by FIKBMS, also known as Federazione Italiana Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Savate, Shoot Boxe e Sambo. Originally founded in 1974, the long-standing federation is officially recognized by the Italian National Olympic Committee and is also affiliated with WAKO, the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations. WAKO has been a leader in the regulation of kickboxing events worldwide since 1976 and is internationally recognized by numerous global sports organizations, committees and federations.
“Working with a reputable federation or commission has always been a high priority for us wherever we hold events,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “Having FIKBMS oversight in Italy ensures that we are continually being held to high standards in terms of fair competition, athlete safety and other regulatory matters. They provide both legitimacy and transparency, which are paramount to the success of our international shows and organization as a whole.”
Bellator 211: Sakara vs. Kauppinen will be broadcast Saturday, December 1 free on Paramount Network at 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT and will also stream on DAZN, while preliminary bouts will stream on Bellator.com and globally on the Bellator Mobile App. For the first time, Bellator Kickboxing 11: Varga vs. Cangelosi will stream LIVE exclusively on the Bellator Mobile App beginning at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT. Additional matchups will be announced in the near future.
Additionally, Alessio Sakara has become Bellator’s newest brand ambassador, where he will now officially represent the organization outside of the cage through various avenues, including public appearances, speaking engagements, as well as sponsor and fan activations, to name a few.
Alessio Sakara returns to the Bellator cage for the fifth time, having already defeated Joey Beltran, Brian Rogers, and most recently, Jamie Sloane. The Italian also owns career wins over Thales Leites and James Irvin. Born in Rome, “Legionarius” has become iconic amongst his country’s fans for always looking to deliver a show. Training at the famed American Top Team in South Florida, the former world title contender has built a reputation as a powerful knockout artist and has collected 20 career victories, including 16 finishes and 11 first-round knockouts.
Fighting out of Dragons Lair MMA in Melksham, England, Kent Kauppinen can proudly boast a finish in every one of his 10 professional victories. Ever the crowd-pleaser, “The Hammerhorn” rarely lets the fight pass the first round, stopping his opponent eight times in the opening frame. Making his sophomore appearance for Bellator, fans can expect fireworks from this one-man wrecking crew when he battles Sakara.
Current Bellator Kickboxing featherweight world champ Gabriel Varga signed with Bellator in March of 2017 and quickly went on to defeat Kevin Ross for the title. Unbeaten under the Bellator banner on Italian soil, the 33-year-old Toronto, Canada-native and two-time Glory featherweight champion also stopped Roberto Gheorghita in the second round of action at Bellator Kickboxing 8. He now meets Shan Cangelosi, who fights out of Sanpayak Gym in Genoa. The Muay Thai-fighter welcomes Varga, to what will surely be hostile territory, in front of his hometown fans on December 1.
Updated Bellator 211: Sakara vs. Kauppinen Main Card:
Light Heavyweight Main Event Bout: Alessio Sakara (20-12, 1 NC) vs. Kent Kauppinen (10-4)
Updated Bellator Kickboxing 11: Varga vs. Cangelosi Main Card:
Featherweight World Title Bout: Gabriel Varga (16-6) vs. Shan Cangelosi (10-6)