UNCASVILLE, Conn. — People all over the world were shocked and saddened to learn of Tuesday’s explosion in Lebanon’s capitol, Beirut.
As of Wednesday night, the official death toll was 135 and thousands more were injured in the blast, for which the cause is still being investigated.
While the loss of human life is hard to fathom, the biggest impact is on those who have friends and family in the region. Included among those are Bellator welterweight Sabah Homasi, who competes against Curtis Millender on the main card of Bellator 243 on Friday.
Homasi (13-8 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) is an American Top Team competitor of Lebanese-American background, born in New Jersey. He still has family back in Beirut, and as soon as he heard the news, he made sure to call home.
“It was sad, but frightening at the same time because I have family there,” Homasi told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s Bellator 243 media day. “So I called my parents because I wasn’t sure if they heard from family or not overseas and they, they touched base with them and everyone’s safe so, all that matters is that they’re home, so, yeah, that was about it.”
With that, Homasi had some peace of mind, and was able to refocus his attention on the bout with Millender (18-5 MMA, 3-2 BMMA). Homasi brings a two-fight win streak into the matchup against a fellow former UFC competitor.
Appraised of Millender’s comments that he believe he has a speed advantage, Homasi scoffed.
“His speed is going to be superior, he said?” Homasi said. “I got an answer for everything, so we’ll see how that plays out on his part. I’ve got power in my my shots. Doesn’t matter what I hit him with, it’s going to hurt him.”
Despite his focus on the fights, Homasi’s thoughts are never too far from his countrymen.
“I’m just going to represent for my country,” he said. “That’s something that definitely means a lot.”
Bellator 243 takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card airs on Paramount following prelims on MMA Junkie.