Hopefully it’s not a case of wishful thinking, but with more than a month until their next event, Bellator president Scott Coker sounds like he expects things to be more or less back to normal by then.
The COVID-19 coronaviurs pandemic has wreaked havoc on this month’s MMA schedule, cancelling not only Bellator 241 at the last minute, but the next several UFC cards as well. However, even with no clear return to normalcy in sight, that isn’t stopping MMA promoters from planning ahead. Dana White has been adamant that the UFC will find a way to go ahead with their April 18th UFC 249 fight card. And now, in a recent statement to MMA Fighting, Coker says he’s expecting the promotion’s May 9th fight card in San Diego, CA to take place as well.
“Right now, for May 9, it’s business as usual,” Coker said, adding that, “If the government extends the self-quarantine, we’ll adjust as needed.”
“I think everybody has to just hunker down and play it by ear, and hopefully the virus will have a timeframe and then hopefully it will get back to normal,” Coker said. “At some point, we’ll look for all systems clear, and then we’ll start promoting fights again.”
Just what that timeframe may be, however, is incredibly hard to say. While the spread of the virus seems to have been contained in China and South Korea, their response to the pandemic has also been much more robust than other parts of the world, including the United States. Some experts are cautioning that social distancing restrictions may need to stay in place for months on end if the US is truly going to “flatten the curve” and prevent a massive influx of dangerously ill people needing hospitalization.
There has also been increasing talk of a several drugs in development to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. However, it appears that pretty much all timelines for the development and distribution of any of those drugs would be months away, if not more than a year. That could mean that MMA promotions like the UFC and Bellator will find themselves in the precarious spot of trying to find ways to skirt guidelines for the foreseeable future, or have to look at closing up shop for a lot longer than they’re likely prepared for.