Global COVID19 pandemic affecting decision on Bellator event at Mohegan Sun
It is now official that Bellator MMA’s 241 will go ahead as planned but with no audience admitted tomorrow night here at Mohegan Sun due to the COVID19 outbreak. The event will be shown live on Sky Sports Mix at 2am in the UK on Saturday morning and on DAZN in the USA> The decision has been taken by Bellator MMA, not MoheganSun. The Connecticut Governor’s orders of crowds of not more than 250 people gathering do not actually apply on the Mohegan reservation land where the casino is situated.
The fight organisation has taken the decision for the safety, on caution grounds, for its fighters.
The COVID19 Corona Virus has meant that Bellator’s MMA fighters will battle behind closed doors here at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Connecticut tomorrow night, after the decision was made three hours after today’s official fighter weigh-ins.
The fight event will go ahead with a skeleton staff, as a tv-only show – it is due to be broadcast on Saturday morning at 2am on Sky Sports Mix in the UK – and on streaming service DAZN in the USA.
The Mohegan Sun resort is an American casino, operated by the Mohegan Tribe, located on 240 acres of reservation land along the banks of the Thames River in Uncasville. Connecticut.
The 12,000-seat capacity Mohegan Sun Arena is home of the New England Black Wolves of the National Lacrosse League and the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Connecticut Sun.
No fighters on the card have reported any illness, with fighters from the UK (Paul Daley), Ireland (Pedro Carvalho, a Portuguese fighter based in EIRE), Germany (Daniel Weichel), Russia (Anatoly Tokov), Brazil (Ronny Markes), and several US states. In all, there are thirty-two fighters on the card. The fighters have training rooms here at the casino and alternate using the same mats, as they go through their preparations.
Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire, the Bellator featherweight champion, defends his title in the main event against Pedro Carvalho. “I can’t let anything distract me. Right now I’m thinking about strategy and the opponent,” the Brazilian who also hold the Bellator lightweight crown told The Daily Telegraph.
“Once I get the victory, then I’ll be thinking about moving forward. Every guy who fights me says they’re better than me and they’re going to do this and that, and they end up falling. It’ll be more of the same this time. I’ll beat this guy up and show him.”
Carvalho is a huge underdog, but Freire, known for his ferocious fighting style, is taking nothing for granted. “It’s not just the fact he has nothing to lose, but he has skills. He brings a big level of violence that is very effective. He’s a very good opponent. Those are all factors, because I take all of my opponents seriously. It’s the same this time.”
Pitbull, who has become an accomplished fighter and two weight world champion, believes he deserves more recognition for his achievements.
“I think most of the time people only go by where you fight. UFC fighters are over rated and fighters outside are underestimated. I don’t think I get anywhere near the credit I deserve. But with time I think MMA will get through this period to when champions from different promotions can fight each other, just like boxing,” explained the 32-year-old.
“That’s when those things can really be decided and I’ll get my time to shine. It’s only then when we can say if a fighter is better than the other, they have to fight. I think it’s a natural transition for MMA. I hope it doesn’t take too much time and I’m still here when it happens. We need to see the best fighting each other and showing the world who really is the best.”
Carvalho has also tried to get under his skin. “Everyone knows I’m a person with a very short fuse and emotions run high with me. But once I get into the cage, it’s all gone. We saw it with Michael Chandler. He was talking s— for three years. He beat my brother twice and when it was all said and done, I was cold as ice and I finished him in one minute. I can’t tell you for sure what will happen when we meet, but inside the cage I will be cold and I will finish him.”
The American Matt Mitrione, a heavyweight fighter on the card and former NFL player who meets Brazilian Ronny Markes told The Telegraph that he believes the event will go ahead: “If they clear the event to go ahead, I’m happy to fight whether we have a crowd or not.”