Last Friday, Bellator President Scott Coker made the decision to cancel the Bellator 241 card at the last-minute amid growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Coker promptly announced that all the fighters that were scheduled to compete on the card would be paid.
John McCarthy, a veteran MMA referee who now serves as a Bellator commentator, believes Coker made the right decision, and praised the Bellator boss for his handling of the situation.
“Here’s a guy that made the hard decision,” McCarthy said of Coker to co-host Josh Thomson on the pair’s Weighing In podcast. “He’s going to lose a lot of money for his company by making this decision. He goes and he makes the decision, pays the fighters all their money, pays the employees their money, and you know what? That’s what a real leader does. A really leader steps up and says ‘this is what’s important for you, your families, your health and safety.’
“He made the hard choice, he made it on his own, he did what was right,” McCarthy added, continuing his praise of Coker. “He handled it beautifully and you’ve got to commend the man for being a leader that he is.”
While McCarthy had high praise for Scott Coker for canceling Bellator 241, he acknowledged that UFC President Dana White was playing a risky game by delaying the cancelation of several UFC events. In fact, McCarthy worries White could have been putting himself at risk of legal repercussions.
“I always look at things in a liability format because that’s my background and I had to work against lawyer all the time,” McCarthy said. “Someone along the way, if they get sick, they’re going to say ‘well [the UFC] made me work’. Then they’re going to pull someone like Dana in and go ‘Mr. White, did you not see the President put the country in a state of emergency?’ He’d have to say ‘yes, I know that.’ Then it’s gonna be ‘well did you know that Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, NHL Hockey, they all suspended their operations, and around the world, soccer, they suspended theirs because they were worried about people’s health?’ He’s going to have to say ‘yes’ to all of that, which is going to lead him down a road where he’s going to lose.'”
What do you think of John McCarthy’s comments on Dana White and Scott Coker?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/19/2020.