Former UFC fighter and current Bellator MMA star Matt Mitrione has nothing but praise for how the promotion has handled things during the pandemic.
“It wasn’t really that complicated. Things happen. We’re adults and we have to deal with them,” Mitrione told Sherdog. “There were a lot more questions than answers at that time regarding the pandemic and Wuhan and everything else. It was complicated for sure. I think Bellator handled it really well. They got feedback from us, they kept us in the loop and I think it paid its dividends. They did the right thing. I think they showed, as they always do, that they do things with as much class and forethought as possible.”
The promotion is scheduled to hold another event until October, but Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said there could be events held at a Hollywood soundstage this Summer.
Mitrione also believes that fighters should be allowed to compete during the pandemic if that’s what they choose to do.
“That’s been my thought that Bellator handled it really well,” said Mitrione. “But now I think it’s a time for us to be like, ‘If you’re good with fighting right now, then sign your name on the dotted line and we’re gonna start making some matchups. Let’s go ahead and start getting after it.’ I think it’s our decision to fight or not. If you say no, then cool, there’s no repercussions to you. More than anything else, the masses that are stuck at home, I think we need sports. Sports are real life reality television. It’s drama. It’s unpredictable. It’s not pre-determined. It’s something that we all can get lost in. And I think that’s in the fabric of the world, not just America. I think we need that.”
One promotion that has decided to move on with running live events during the pandemic is the UFC, which returns on May 9 with UFC 249.