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Bellator MMA announces CBS Sports Network move, Cyborg's return

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Bellator MMA officially announced their move to CBS Sports Network Friday afternoon as well as the first MMA show in France and the next fight for women's featherweight star Cris "Cyborg" Justino.

The CBS Sports Network move has been known about for weeks and would appear to be the right place within the greater Viacom family as it remained the only live sports property on Paramount Network, the former Spike TV, where Bellator has been a fixture since 2013.

The main cards for all of Bellator's events will air live in the U.S. regardless of whether they are domestic or international, a previous frustration for fans when the company ran shows overseas. Prelims will air on Bellator's YouTube channel and CBS Sports.com.

Their final show on Paramount will air this weekend with the first CBS Sports Network event set for Thursday, October 1st in MIlan, Italy.

Other notes from Scott Coker's press conference:

  • The company announced that they will be the first major MMA promotion to run in France with their Bellator Paris show set for Saturday, October 19th featuring Cheick Kongo vs. Tim Johnson II and Michael "Venom" Page against Ross Houston. Up to 5000 fans will be able to attend.
  • Women's featherweight champion Justino is scheduled to make her first title defense on Thursday, October 15th against Arlene Biencowe at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun. 
  • A Thursday October 29th show will feature Gegard Mousasi and Douglas Lima in a fight for the vacant middleweight championship. Lima will be moving up a weight class.
  • Thursday shows are apparently going to be a common theme with events going forward, an effort to stay away from Saturdays going head-to-head with UFC and Fridays where WWE has SmackDown and a traditionally tough TV night.
  • There is a possibility that bigger shows could air on CBS and/or Showtime. Coker and Showtime have a long history, notably with Strikeforce.
  • On the DAZN side, they are both still discussing their future and waiting to see what happens.
  • He is looking to bring back a featherweight Grand Prix this November.