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Bellator 241 will proceed, but without fans in the audience.
The Viacom-owned promotion has followed in the footsteps of several major sporting leagues in limiting attendance to a sporting event in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed the move after an initial report from TSN. Attendance will be restricted to no more than 250 people per guidelines issued on Thursday by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont.
Bellator President Scott Coker on Thursday afternoon confirmed the plans for Bellator 241 and offered refunds to fans who’d purchased tickets for Friday’s event.
Out of an abundance of caution for all parties, #Bellator241 on Friday, March 13 at Mohegan Sun Arena will be closed to the public. Refunds for ticketholders will be available at their original point of purchase.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) March 12, 2020
Bellator 241 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and is headlined by a featherweight grand prix fight between champ Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and Pedro Carvalho. Weigh-ins for the event took place on Thursday morning.
The event is regulated by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation. The event is held on land that is sovereign to Mohegan Tribe, which has its own health department that sets policy.
Bellator is the latest MMA promotion to alter its plans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The UFC is set to hold an event in Brasilia, Brazil, without fans, and is reportedly moving events in Columbus, Ohio, and Portland, Ore., to its Apex facility in Las Vegas. European promoters such as KSW have canceled events, and Asia-based promotion ONE Championship announced all upcoming shows will be held indoors without fans.