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California suspends combat sports, precautions taken elsewhere in response to coronavirus

The combat world is experiencing the latest domino to fall in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the sports world and beyond.

On Thursday, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) suspended all combat events through the end of March. CSAC executive director Andy Foster wrote in a statement:

Based on guidance issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDHP) to protect Californians against the possible spread of the COVID-19, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is canceling all event through March 31. CSAC will use this period to determine the next steps for moving forward with future events.

The decree affects Golden Boy’s DAZN event on March 29 at The Forum in Inglewood. Vergil Ortiz Jr. and Samuel Vargas were scheduled to headline.

Another Golden Boy event scheduled for March 19 in Hollywood is also impacted.

In New York, Top Rank boxing announced its March 14 and March 17 events scheduled for Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater will proceed without spectators. Only production and support staff and credentialed media will be admitted. Both events are scheduled to be shown on ESPN networks.

Boxing Scene’s Keith Idec reports that both of the events scheduled for Madison Square Garden could still be postponed and that their fate rests with the New York State Athletic Commission.

Bellator 241 postponed

After an initial plan to continue with Bellator 241 without fans, president Scott Coker announced on Friday that the event scheduled for the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut will be postponed. The announcement arrived hours ahead of the scheduled event.

“The health and safety of everyone involved have, and will remain, our top priority as we move forward,” Coker wrote on Twitter.

The event is the first major MMA event postponed because of the pandemic.

Connecticut Gov. Ted Lamont declared a public health emergency on Tuesday and signed an executive order on Thursday prohibiting public gatherings of more than 250 people.

The card was headlined by Patricio Freire (30-4 MMA, 18-4 BMMA) and Pedro Carvalho (11-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) at 145 pounds.

PBC fight in Maryland postponed

A Premier Boxing Champions event scheduled for Saturday in Oxon Hill, Maryland has been postponed. James Kirkland and Marcos Hernandez were scheduled to headline.

UFC Brasilia will reportedly go on

On the MMA front, UFC Brasilia scheduled for Saturday will go on without fans in attendance, according to multiple reports. Thursday’s media day and Friday’s weigh-in ceremony have been canceled after Federal District Gov. Ibaneis Roch suspended all gatherings of more than 100 people as Brazil grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

Multiple fighters on the card have expressed readiness to fight.

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