Patricio "Pitbull" Freire celebrates his win over Michael Chandler for...

Patricio "Pitbull" Freire celebrates his win over Michael Chandler for the lightweight title at Bellator 221 on May 11, 2019, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Credit: Bellator MMA/Lucas Noonan

With just a few hours before Bellator 241 was scheduled to start at  Mohegan Sun Arena, Bellator canceled Friday's night fight card.

"The health and safety of everyone involved have, and will remain, our top priority as we move forward. After carefully monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, @BellatorMMA has chosen to postpone this evening’s Bellator 241 event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut," Bellator president Scott Coker tweeted Friday afternoon. "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,"

On Thursday afternoon, after all the fighters had weighed-in, Bellator announced it would continue with the Bellator 241 fight card without fans in attendance.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused significant schedule changes for sporting events across the world at all levels. On Wednesday night, the NBA suspended its season. On Thursday, MLB, MLS and the NHL delayed their seasons, followed by the NCAA canceling March Madness. A growing number of college conferences have canceled their entire spring seasons. On Thursday night, UFC president Dana White announced its Saturday card in Brazil would continue without fans in attendance.

Ticket refunds for Bellator 241 will be available at the point of purchase, Coker said.

Patricio Pitbull was to defend his featherweight title in the main event against Pedro Carvalho, one of 16 now-canceled fights on the card, which included Bellator's featherweight grand prix quarterfinal round. 

Bellator's next scheduled event is May 9 in San Jose, California.

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