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Postponed! Coronavirus strikes down Bellator 241 on DAZN

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MMA fighters Emelianenko and Jackson weigh in ahead of Bellator 237 main event in Japan Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

Just hours before the opening bell at Bellator 241 in Uncasville, Conn., the promotion has opened to postpone the event altogether following a nationwide call to action in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

All fighters booked to compete will be paid their “show” money.

“After carefully monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Bellator MMA has chosen to postpone this evening’s Bellator 241 event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut,” Bellator President Scott Coker wrote on Twitter. “We would like to apologize to our athletes and fans, as well as our broadcast partner DAZN, but we feel this is the best decision to be made at this time.”

Safe to say that not everyone was happy with the decision.

“I am heartbroken to say the least,” lightweight standout Nick Newell said after losing his Zach Zane fight. “I was extremely well prepared. My team and my family sacrificed so much to make it here. Please give me some time to be with my thoughts.”

Others celebrated the decision to put health ahead of entertainment.

“Thank you Bellator MMA for the way they’ve handled the CANCELLATION of Bellator 241 here at Mohegan Sun,” welterweight Paul Daley wrote. “They’re doing the right thing in the face of a global pandemic. Taking care of us fighters. Right now we must all do our part to help defeat this virus. Stay blessed all. Thank you.”

Daley was expected to throw down against Sabah Homasi.

U.S. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and many state governments have issued bans on large gatherings of people. Even though Bellator 241 was going to take place behind closed doors, the increased risk of contact forced the promotion to take extra precautions.

UFC Brasilia, however, will proceed as planned.