clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bellator 243 virtual media day Q&A | Live updates

Fighters are scheduled to start chatting today (Weds., Aug. 5) at 1:30 p.m. ET from inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Bellator 243 Media Conference Call

Bellator 243: “Chandler vs. Henderson 2” takes place this weekend (Fri., Aug. 7, 2020) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. In the main event, a rematch four years in the making will see Michael Chandler (20-5) and Ben Henderson (28-8) meet for a scheduled three rounds.

Both fighters are scheduled to participate in what the promotion is calling a “Virtual Media Day” this afternoon (Weds., Aug. 5, 2020) starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. Expected participants include:

Benson Henderson (1:30 p.m.) – Bellator Lightweight
Georgi Karakhanyan (1:45 p.m.) – Bellator Lightweight
Timothy Johnson (2 p.m.) – Bellator Heavyweight
Valerie Loureda (2:15 p.m.) – Bellator women’s Flyweight
Curtis Millender (2:30 p.m.) – Bellator Welterweight
Matt Mitrione (2:45 p.m.) – Bellator Heavyweight
Michael Chandler (3 p.m.) – Bellator Lightweight
Sabah Homasi (3:15 p.m.) – Bellator Lightweight
Myles Jury (3:30 p.m.) – Bellator Welterweight

Selected news and memorable quotes from the participants will be available below.


Benson Henderson: “For some people it’s kind of hard if you don’t like someone and you’re going to get into a fist fight with them. For me I never really have that problem. I’m cool, calm, collected. I’ve never really had to deal with that situation.”

Henderson: “People see the punching, the kicking, the blood, the gore, but they don’t see there’s a chess match to that. It’s all about the small adjustments. All those little tiny small adjustments play a huge factor into who is going to get their hand raised.”

Henderson: “Wow, this is crazy, there’s no crowd here. This is completely different. I made sure that I went out and had one competition, a jiu-jitsu competition where they had no crowd, so I got to experience it one time so there was nothing in the back of my head with fighting in front of no crowd.”

Georgi Karakhanyan: “I’ve been handling (the pandemic) really well man. I don’t read the news, I don’t watch the media. I got back from Ireland and I’ve just been working, training and getting better. My approach with every fight is to finish, so nothing changes. I’m going out there looking for a finish. (If I win) I plan on coming back in two weeks and fighting again.”

Karakhanyan: “As soon as the fight (with Redmond) was done I facetimed with my mother-in-law. She had the baby literally an hour after the fight was done. This is the third so no more kids for me. Maybe I’ll go chop chop my thing so I don’t have any more babies.”

Karakhanyan: “I think I match up pretty well (with Benson). That’s in the future but I think I’d do really good against Ben. Nothing but respect to him but I think I match up good.”

Timothy Johnson: “Every fall in harvest I go back to Minnesota and spread dry fertilizer. I work for a cooperative. My heart’s in the Midwest, the corn fields of the Midwest is where I love to be, so I get a lot of working hours in doing that. During the winter you don’t do much, but in the fall and the summer you get a lot of work. I think I was averaging 100 hour work weeks.”

Johnson: “I have a three year plan. I’m 35. People seem to think I’m like 40 or something. Maybe I’m clean shaven to remind people I’m not as old as I always appear. I think if I can make it to 38 that’d be a pretty solid goal, eight to 12 fights left in me. It’s getting to that point where I’m starting to think about life after fighting. I love fighting but it’s a means to an end.”

Johnson: “I’m not sure where Bader’s go. There’s a log jam. (He needs to) open up either one of the weight classes so we can get it moving again.”

Johnson: “Fighting’s easy compared to driving down the roads of Iraq, but there is some comparability to it. When you’re on the lines, ready to drive out, you’ve got some anxiety and adrenaline. Once you get out there though everything gets back to normal. First 30 seconds of a fight you have the anxiety but then you fall back on your training, just like in a military sense.”

Valerie Loureda: “Everyone is so excited. Everyone who’s been following my career. All my Cubans in Miami are ready to watch me on Friday. I’m just so honored and blessed you know. I will be the first female to get in the Bellator cage during this quarantine process and I’m blessed to get paid as well. I stayed close to weight so when Bellator called me a few weeks ago I put together a quick camp.”

Loureda: “So my last fight I was upset about it at first but then I was grateful because it was 15 full minutes in a cage. This girl was going at me with everything. It was a lot of adversity I had to face and change but I was just grateful for the outcome. Every girl is out there to kill me so I have to be prepared for more than that. I know Tara’s going to come in the same way.”

Loureda: “I feel a lot less pressure (with no crowd). I’ve been sparring like that since I was a baby. I think it’s going to be funner. It’s like sparring at American Top Team and performing at my best.”

Loureda: “Yes a hundred percent I feel like taekwondo is becoming a lot more prominent in mixed martial arts. If you don’t start from a very early age it’s hard to get that footwork. It’s a beautiful martial art. A lot of things I’ve picked up I use in MMA and show off all of my pretty kicks and knock someone out.”

Loureda: “Above anything just seeing her mindset and why Joanna (Jedrzejczyk) is a champion. I see myself in her when she was younger. She sees how hard I work and that we have the same passion. I learned a lot from her from a championship mindset perspective. I look forward to following in her footsteps and her advice.”

Loureda: “I’m the first Cuban female fighter out of our community. I have a lot of responsibility on my heart. I’m not complacent, I’m not satisfied until I’m 10-0 and I’m the first Cuban-American woman to hold that world title.”

Curtis Millender: “(The pandemic has) given me a lot more time to become a better fighter not just physically but mentally. I do a lot of things to mentally prepare myself for fights but this just added to it. I got to add some weight lifting, I’ve never done too much but I was able to add that so it’s been a plus to me.”

Millender: “I know people are watching so I can still go out there and perform whether there’s an audience there or one on TV — I know I still have to perform.”

Millender: “A very very tiny part of me believes (Michael Venom Page) may happen eventually, but whatever — if it happens it happens. I’m watching a lot of boxers. I’m trying to learn some new things without giving a lot away. I’m trying to go to the body more. I have a family to support and take care of so my services are always going to be to the highest bidder but as far as the MVP thing it is what it is. When somebody keeps dangling stuff and taking it away that gets old real fast so that’s how I feel about MVP.”

Matt Mitrione: “Awesome. I was just talking about that today. How awesome would it be to fight Fedor in Moscow? That would be so dope. If it’s a rumor let’s make it real!”

Mitrione: “(The pandemic) didn’t affect us much in Indiana. It’s not like going from New York to Florida. It was just wear a mask, stay about your own business. Go to the gym, go home and sleep, so it was the same for us.”

Mitrione: “(A title shot?) That is way above my pay grade. I don’t get paid enough to worry about it, to talk about it. They call me and I answer the phone. They call me and I say ‘ALRIGHT!’”

Mitrione: “I’ve really impressed even myself with my baking prowess. I’ve been doing this thing called a bang bang cookie. You put entirely too much sugar in it and after you start baking it, you just pull it out and drop the cookie sheet on the counter so it flattens it out. Instead of being puffy and thick they are flat and chewy. They are super super dope.”

Mitrione: “America needs a reality break. That’s what sports do. I also think a majority of the people who had interest in sports before the quarantine realized they weren’t doing jack shit with their lives but sitting on a couch watching other people entertain theirs. I think a lot of people have enriched their lives as a result. I don’t know if sports viewership will be anything close to what it was any time soon.”

Mitrione: “I’m game brother, I’m game, I’m down for the cause. I get texts from Chael saying we’re the last ones left, the Last of the Mohicans. If you like me cool, let’s go get weird, and if you don’t cool I don’t care very much. Let’s go make some money and put on a show.”

Michael Chandler: “Obviously numbers are very important. We fight for money, we are prize fighters, so we will see. I’ve made it no secret I’m extremely happy with my career thus far and happy every single time with my decision to sign with Bellator, so we’ll see if it happens again. We’ve talked ballpark figures, and then the pandemic happened and things got busy. Here we are. I’ve got a fight Friday night.”

Chandler: “We love going out to eat, we love taking (my son) to different places and getting socialized. A vacation is definitely in the works. I don’t care if there’s a travel ban or not. My wife deserves to be sitting next to some palm trees out there. A Chandler vacation needs to happen ASAP. I definitely love Thai food. We eat that as well.”

Sabah Homasi: “It’s crazy man what’s been going on. For the people that were affected (in Beirut) my prayers go out to everyone there. I’m just glad that all my family is safe.”

Homasi: “I hope to stay active. If I hopefully have no serious injuries and come out healthy from this fight, I’d like to fight again soon. We’ll see what Bellator has for me.”

Homasi: “I didn’t really have to make any adjustments (to training). The gym is open. I’m prepared to get in and let it go.”

Myles Jury: “(Fighting at 155) is great for me. I get a lot more calories during the training camp. I feel stronger, bigger at this weight class and it’s another great opportunity for me. I feel like the Lightweight division for Bellator is wide open. I feel like I’ve beaten a top ten guy in Girtz and a company guy in Georgi puts me right up. Who else is up there? Chandler might be going on and Bellator needs guys like me so I’m right there in the mix.”

Jury: “There’s a lot of guys out here who want that (155) belt. If you’re not defending it (Pitbull) what are you doing?”

Jury: “I’d rather throw a ladder down and pull somebody up than pull the ladder up and not let people climb. It’s up to people to take it how they want to.”

Jury: “I’m great at fighting, I’m focused on it, I’m going to make money eventually. They can not deny me, I will make money. I looked at it where I wanted to take that money and put it toward making a better reality. What are the two best topics? Fighting and finances.”


Check out the complete Bellator 243: “Chandler vs. Henderson 2” card below:

  • Lightweight Main Event: Michael Chandler (20-5) vs. Benson Henderson (28-8)
  • Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Matt Mitrione (13-7, 1 NC) vs. Timothy Johnson (13-6)
  • Lightweight Main Card Bout: Myles Jury (18-5) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (29-10-1, 1 NC)
  • 175-Pound Contract Weight Main Card Bout: Sabah Homasi (13-8) vs. Curtis Millender (18-5)
  • 150-Pound Contract Weight Prelims Bout: Adam Borics (14-1) vs. Mike Hamel (7-3)
  • Featherweight Prelims Bout: Cris Lencioni (6-2) vs. AJ Agazarm (3-1)
  • Flyweight Prelims Bout: Valerie Loureda (2-0) vs. Tara Graff (1-1)
  • Light Heavyweight Prelims Bout: Grant Neal (3-0) vs. Hamza Salim (5-2)
  • Lightweight Prelims Bout: Nainoa Dung (3-1) vs. Charlie Campbell (1-1)
  • Middleweight Prelims Bout: Dalton Rosta (2-0) vs. Mark Gardner (1-1)

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.