Scott Coker is standing by his decision to cancel Bellator 241 just hours before it was set to go.
Last Friday, Bellator was continuing on with the featherweight grand prix, and after the fighters weighed-in and were about to head to the arena, Coker pulled the plug. He said one of the main reasons why was the fact he didn’t feel comfortable putting his fighters and staff in that situation.
“It’s a tough call,” Coker said on a recent episode of “The Luke Thomas Show” (via MMAJunkie). “All the fighters were there, they weighed in, and it was already decided it was going to be a situation with no crowd. But certain things, I started talking to my staff saying, ‘If you don’t feel comfortable and want to be with your families, please go.’ The President had an emergency announcement and a lot of people thought it was going to shut the country down, that was the speculation.
“At the end of the day, I say we made the right call. I feel really good about that, and so does the company. When this thing finally comes to an end one day hopefully soon, we’ll get back to promoting the fights.”
Why Scott Coker decided not to continue on with the event is due to the safety of his staff and fighters. With that, he believes he made the right call.
“There was one thing on my mind: ‘Is my staff, my fighters, my production crew, are we putting our people in harms way?,’ and I just couldn’t come to an answer on that,” Coker explained.
“I believe we made the right call because who really knows, right? I wasn’t sure about the situation, and rumors start flying around. And at the end of the day, I just didn’t feel comfortable, some of my staff didn’t feel comfortable, some of the production crew didn’t feel comfortable. So after a while, you go, ‘This is not going to be an event that we’re going to want to promote and feel good about promoting.’
“We’re talking about hours away from the first fight, so everyone was there, and then it was a matter of scrambling and getting everyone out of there. Because if there was a ban on flights, we need to get everyone to the airport and get them back into the city. We had people from out of the country that couldn’t fly after Monday, so we just felt the need that we needed to get these guys out of here. There is a time where people should be at home with their families hunkering down and being ready for whatever it is that’s going to come next.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime