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Bellator MMA announces overseas event with Oktagon Kickboxing, signs Alessio Sakara

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Esther Lin

Bellator MMA recently announced plans for its first overseas adventure, scheduled to take place April 16 at the Pala Alpitour in Torino, Italy.

The event will be co-promoted by Oktagon Kickboxing and will feature both Bellator MMA and Oktagon Kickboxing bouts. This announcement marks the first of three international events scheduled for 2016 by Bellator MMA.

"We are very excited to be working side by side with my friend [Oktagon Kickboxing President] Carlo Di Blasi and his team," Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said in the announcement. "Carlo is a great ally, and someone who I admire for all of the amazing work he has done in combat sports throughout Europe over the past 20 years.  We look forward to putting on an amazing show for the Italian people, and fans tuning in from around the world when we combine our efforts on April 16 in Torino."

In addition to the co-promoted event, Bellator also announced the signing of former UFC middleweight Alessio Sakara (17-11, two no-contests).

Sakara, one of the most well recognized and respected Italian fighters in MMA history, is coming off a first-round TKO of Dib Akil at Sept. 18's Final Fight Championship 19 event. While an opponent has not yet been named, Sakara is expected to fight at the April 16 event in front of his home-country fans.

"Oktagon has had incredible success building a loyal and committed fanbase throughout Europe over the past 20 years," said Di Blasi. "I know that these fans are going to really enjoy the exciting brand of MMA that Bellator offers when we partner with them on April 16."