UFC

Bellator MMA announces return July 24 in Connecticut

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Bellator mixed martial arts promotion will return to competition July 24 with a show in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Bellator announced its decision Wednesday, becoming the next major MMA company to confirm its plans to compete amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The show at the Mohegan Sun Arena will be headlined by a bout between 135-pound contenders Ricky Bandejas and Sergio Pettis. Inconsistent prospect Aaron Pico also will compete on the card.

Bellator hasn’t held an event since Feb. 22 in Dublin. The U.S.-based promotion elected not to rush back to competition while the pandemic shut down transportation and national borders.

Most major MMA promotions are already back in action, or at least ramping up to their returns. The UFC took only eight weeks off before returning May 9, and it will stage its 10th event since that pause on Thursday morning in Abu Dhabi.

Invicta returned two weeks ago, and One Championship has already announced its full-scale return for July 31 in Bangkok. Combate Americas will hold three shows in a closed TV studio in Miami starting Aug. 28.

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