Bellator MMA will be back in action sooner than later as the promotion is targeting July 24 as its return date. Sherdog was first to report the news. Following the report from Sherdog, MMA Fighting also confirmed the news of Bellator’s return.
When Bellator does return, it will have a three-month residency at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. and the promotion will have a partnership with Showtime Championship Boxing.
Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza has been involved with Bellator for a few months now. In January he was tapped to oversee Bellator as part of a corporate restructuring at ViacomCBS. Then in May, he said he planned to promote crossover events featuring the MMA promotion an Showtime Boxing.
Before any crossover fights, Bellator will look just to have MMA events, especially since they have canceled several cards between March and June due to the coronavirus pandemic. One of those cards which was canceled was Bellator 241, which was supposed to be at the Mohegan Sun Arena and feature two semifinal final bouts in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix. Featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire was going to be featured on the card.
The July 24 card is currently being put together. While no fights have been made official; bout agreements have been issued to several fighters.
Of course coming back into action won’t be an easy task as there are some possible problems. One hurdle Bellator will have is that travel restrictions may prevent some international fighters from competing in the United States. Another other potential is the state of Connecticut’s travel restrictions. Visitors from 19 different states are required to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Connecticut. Travelers are able to skip the quarantine if they have taken a COVID-19 test 72 hours before traveling to the state.