Bellator’s roster just got a little bigger.
On Thursday, the promotion announced the signing of seven new French fighters to multi-fight contracts in a bid to expand Bellator’s presence in France’s growing MMA scene.
The news comes nearly a month after Bellator’s second event in France, Bellator 280, which took place on May 6 at the Accor Arena in Paris. Bellator had made history for the first time as the first major MMA promotion to hold an event there in October 2020 with Bellator 248 following the legalization of the sport in France.
Below is the list of seven French fighter additions to Bellator’s roster.
Mansour Barnaoui, 29, is a former Road FC lightweight champion.
Barnaoui (19-4) won the Road FC title in May 2019, beating then-champion A Sol Kwon with a rear-end choke in the first round. The fight marks the last time “Tarzan” entered the cage. Barnaoui is on a seven-game winning streak. His last loss was in 2016 against Mateusz Gamrot of the UFC.
“Bellator respects its fans and its fighters, so I’m quite proud to become a Bellator fighter now,” Barnaoui said in a statement. “I was very impressed with the two Bellator events in my home country of France. They were really successful, and Bellator was the first high-ranking promotion to come to France, so that matters to me.
Davy Gallon, 33, has previous experience competing for Bellator.
Gallon (21-7-2) has had his last three fights under the Bellator banner where he has gone 3-0. Gallon was originally signed following his viral knockout Knockout of the Year contestant against former UFC contender Ross Pearson in November 2019. The Frenchman is currently on a five-fight winning streak, including four by stoppage.
Thibault Gouti, 35, has just made a successful Bellator debut.
He last fought at Bellator 280 where he defeated Lewis Long by unanimous decision. Gouti (16-5) is on a four-fight winning streak since exiting the UFC in 2018. “GT” entered the UFC in 2016 with an unbeaten record of 11-0, he went 1-5 before being released.
Bourama Camara, 24, made a big statement on his Bellator debut last month.
The 6-foot-4 welterweight knocked out Victor Verchere in the first round at Bellator 280. It was Camara’s (5-1) first fight since his first and only professional loss in August 2021.
Gregory Babene, 38, is the most experienced fighter of the seven signings.
Babene (22-11) has over 30 pro fights under his belt since 2004. Babene also fought at Bellator 280 where he stopped Mike Shipman in the first round of their middleweight contest.
Prior to that, Babene had fought three times under the Bellator banner, including a submission victory over 2019 PFL champion Emiliano Sordi. Babene is on a seven-game winning streak.
Youcef Ouabbas, 24, is the least experienced fighter in the peloton.
Ouabba (3-0) has three fights to his credit with two finishes. He last fought at Bellator 280 where he stopped Matthieu Duclos remaining TKO. It was his first fight after a three-year layoff since his last pro outing.