Scott Coker is looking to get Bellator MMA moving again in July if things with COVID-19 and the pandemic that halted sports back in March start to simmer down. Sports, along with everything else took a hit when the coronavirus officially became a pandemic early last month. However, with data showing the peak is passing, it is time to start planning a safe return. While the UFC is looking to get things going next week with a second attempt at UFC 249, Bellator is going to take a more patient approach.
March 9, Bellator held a press conference about their Spring and Summer schedule, only to have to postpone Bellator 241 and other events announced in that press conference by the end of that same week. Nothing lasts forever and Coker seems to be looking forward to when he can safely resume promoting events and for Bellator, it is looking like July. Coker told MMA Junkie last week that he is looking at holding events in July, with no fans.
“We do have a plan, and the plan really is to come back sometime in July on a soundstage either in the Paramount lot or the CBS lot,” Coker said and added the fights would be, “in a closed environment with no audience, at least for the first three, four months.” However, Coker knows that the athletic commissions need to plan for sports to return too and with combat sports, protocols need to be developed and put in place.
“This isn’t something we want to take lightly, then somebody gets sick, then somebody has a problem, then we all have a problem.”Scott Coker on safety protocol
Coker understands that planning those protocols will take some time, “It’s going to take a little bit of time to get this thing figured out, and once they do, they’ll present us with a protocol of what’s going to happen,” Coker said about choosing July. Once the protocols are out, Coker said, “Then we’ll go back and ask what we want to do in addition to that. Even in a closed environment we’re probably going to have 40, 50 people in that building at one time, and we need to make sure those people are safe, and we have their health and safety in mind first. This isn’t something we want to take lightly, then somebody gets sick, then somebody has a problem, then we all have a problem.”
Coker has been commended for paying everyone involved with Bellator 241 back in March when things got bad and it looks like he is continuing to move forward with safety in mind.
Are you looking forward to when MMA returns?