Scott Coker, President of Bellator MMA, has announced his intentions to launch Bellator Kickboxing this April with his partners at Spike TV.

The announcement was made Thursday afternoon during at a press conference ahead of Bellator 149: Shamrock vs. Gracie 3.

Bellator Kickboxing will feature some of the world’s premiere kickboxers including Joe Schilling, Raymond Daniels, Kevin Ross, Keri Melendez and Anastasia Yankova, who were in attendance at today’s press conference. The current Bellator MMA team based out of Santa Monica, CA will run the new league.

“Kickboxing is a thrilling, non-stop action-packed sport that I believe will resonate with MMA fans,” said Coker. “Our first goal is to develop stars and showcase these incredible athletes on the #1 home for combat sports, Spike TV.”

The first event  will be a co-promoted show with Bellator MMA and Oktagon Kickboxing on April 16 at the Pala Alpitour in Torino, Italy.

The featured headliner will feature Melvin Manhoef vs. Alexandru Negrea as well as a 5-round title fight when current ISKA 72kg champion Mustapha Haida will move up in weight to challenge Karim Ghajii for his ISKA 75 KG belt. Other participants competing at the inaugural Bellator Kickboxing extravaganza include Ross, Daniels and Denise Kielholtz. Opponents for these participants will be announced in the near future.

The event will also include “Bellator 152,” a mixed martial arts card will feature Alessio Sakara vs. Brian Rogers as well as Bellator MMA stars Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, Brent Primus, Anastasia Yankova and A.J. McKee.

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José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.