COVID-19 changes fight routine for Wilmington’s John Salter

First MMA fight for Wilmington's John Salter since November

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - John Salter is ready to get back into the octagon and will battle Andrew Kapel at Bellator 244 on Friday.

For Salter (17-4) it’s his first fight since November and the COVID-19 pandemic changed his preparation.

A huge hurdle for the Wilmington-based fighter was dealing with the Governor’s COVID restrictions that closed gyms.

“A lot of places didn’t open back up for pros,” said Salter. “But it’s going pretty well. I’ve known for a while that Bellator was going to get started back up and that I was going to have something coming. So, I was able to get prepped and was ready to go when I got the call. We had some downtime, but I stayed in shape through everything.”

Once Salter was able to find a gym, he had to change with whom and with how many people he worked out.

“Obviously we’ve had to keep our training sessions smaller,” said Salter. “...with a smaller group...and be careful. And, make sure [we know] who we have coming in there. And everyone knows they have a responsibility. If you’re coming to train, you have to stay away from the rest of normal life because we have to keep everyone healthy.”

Because of COVID-19 there will be no fans in the area on Friday night, something that he needs to get ready for.

“It’s going to be interesting; it’s going to be different,” said Salter. “I’m not sure how it’s going to be for everyone else. I’ve trained every single day without a crowd. I just have to keep it in mind that it’s not a training session. It’s a little bit more intense but at the same time it’s something I’m used to every single day.”

The main card for Bellator 244 starts at 10 p.m. on the Paramount Network.

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