Bellator pulls the plug on MMA fight card hours before scheduled start


Two mixed martial arts fighters compete in the Octagon. (Chris Young/CP)

UNCASAVILLE, Conn. — Bellator postponed Bellator 241 just hours before its scheduled start Friday.

"After carefully monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Bellator MMA has chosen to postpone this evening’s Bellator 241 event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut," Bellator president Scott Coker said via social media.

"We would like to apologize to our athletes and fans, as well as our broadcast partner DAZN, but we feel this is the best decision to be made at this time."

In the wake of Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signing an executive order Thursday banning all gatherings of more than 250 people, Bellator decided to go ahead with the show but with no spectators.

It went one step further Friday, calling off the card, which was to have featured featherweight and lightweight champion Patricio (Pitbull) Freire of Brazil putting his 145-pound title on the line against Portugal’s Pedro Carvalho in the quarterfinals of the Bellator featherweight Grand Prix.

Coker said all the fighters, as well as officials, judges, cutmen and additional event personnel, "have been compensated."

"Next to everyone’s health and safety, this was our biggest priority," he added.

The UFC plans to go ahead with its Saturday show in Brasilia behind closed doors. Canadians John (The Bull) Makdessi and Randa (Quiet Storm) Markos are both on the card.

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