The Latest MMA Betting News During the Corona Virus
The coronavirus (COVOID-19) is impacting the top two promotions in mixed martial arts, the UFC and Bellator MMA after recent statements from the Nevada Athletic Commission and Bellator President Scott Coker respectively.
The Coronavirus: What Is It?
According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are “a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.”
Measures to prevent spreading include “regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.”
Worldometer is a website keeping a continually updating count of the number of cases and deaths along with information from media outlets and we advise anybody that wants the latest updates to check there.
President Donald Trump declared the situation a national emergency.
Effect on the UFC and UFC Betting
With regard to UFC events, UFC President Dana White released said in a video statement released March 12, select events would go on as scheduled but would be moved from their original location to in-house at the UFC Apex facility.
NSAC executive director Bob Bennett released the following statement to ESPN on March 14:
“I’ve been in constant contact with a litany of doctors and medical professionals and am intimately familiar with most professional and amateur sports events being suspended at this point in time for an undetermined period. I will continue to collect information and speak with various medical experts and be prepared to provide the information to the chairman and commissioners on March 25.”
A couple of days later after going ahead with a crowdless event in Brazil, Dana White and the UFC came out and said the next three events would be postponed.
UFC 249: Khabib vs. Ferguson may also be in jeopardy, but according to the latest from the UFC and Dana White, it is still going to go on as scheduled. The bout has been scheduled five times to date with the previous four books falling apart after multiple injuries to both men. UFC 249 is set to take place at Barclays Center in New York.
Reuters tweeted on March 12 that New York state had banned gatherings of more than 500 people.
Corona Virus Effect on Bellator and Other MMA Promotions
Meanwhile, Bellator 241 was postponed after the promotion originally said fans, and later media, would not be allowed in. Despite Bellator 241’s postponement, Scott Coker told USA Today’s MMAJunkie.com Bellator is monitoring the situation but are essentially on a freeze as well.
“Everything is on hold. The whole schedule is on hold. I told my staff, ‘Look, guys. Stay home. Enjoy your family. Do the prep work you can do, but I don’t expect to see you in the office anytime soon. I’ll give you a call as things start to develop.’
Coker said Bellator could end up moving this in-house in similar fashion to what the UFC is doing with the Apex facility. However, it should be noted the promotion’s home state of California has issued a ban on combat sports events including boxing through March 31.
“Viacom owns Paramount pictures. We could go to a lot and do the same thing. The question is: When is the right time to do it? I’m not sure that’s going to be anytime soon. We’ll monitor it for the next 30 days, and hopefully the testing will become a little bit more available, and you’ll get the results back quicker.”
Additionally, Legacy Fighting Alliance, a top developmental promotion to the UFC and Bellator, has postponed March’s LFA 84. Their April events are under review. For a look at how the pandemic has impacted combat sports on a global scale, we’ve included an article from March 12 by OddsUSA’s Dane McGuire for Combat Press.
OddsUSA will keep bettors updated as the situation develops.