This bout would be perfectly suited for the UK for the two Englishmen, but Bellator MMA President Scott Coker says location issues lead to the bout happening in the United States.
“We did try (to make it in England),” Coker told MMA Junkie. “The issue really was that the broadcast partner wanted to have it here (in the U.S.). But we went and talked to them. And James Rushton, the CEO of DAZN, we sat down with him and said, ‘We really feel like this fight should be here in London.’ We were in London at the time and he said, ‘OK, can do it here.’ There was no venues available at that time.”
The promotion is holding an event in England this February, with Ryan Scope and Patricky Pitbull headlining.
Coker says DAZN green lighted the promotion to run the event in England, but the timing also wasn’t there.
“We said, ‘If we’re not going to do it in London, we’re going to do it in America where they really want it anyway,” Coker said. “But James Rushton did say, ‘You guys could do it here if you could find the venue. He gave us the green light, we looked, we tried, we tried to challenge dates and this and that and there was just nothing available. We had to do it in this timeframe, the month of February, there’s only the 02 Arena in SSE Wembley and that’s pretty much it. There’s just no dates available so we ended up doing it at the Mohegan Sun, 16th of February.”
Bellator 217 takes place on Saturday, February 16 from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut with Michael Page and Paul Daley headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on DAZN.