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James Gallagher vs. Cal Ellenor rebooked for main event at Bellator Dublin in February

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

James Gallagher will once again headline a show in his native Ireland as he faces off with Cal Ellenor in the main event of Bellator Dublin on Feb. 22.

The fight was originally booked for this past September but Ellenor was forced out of the fight and Gallagher went onto make short work of late replacement Roman Salazar with a first round guillotine choke submission.

Ellenor later revealed that a concerning brain scan led to his withdrawal from the fight with doctors telling him at the time that he may not be able to compete again.

“Basically [the neurologist] looked at my scans and told me I had a gap in my frontal lobe that wasn’t there previously, and that I also had three black spots of damage on the right side of my brain,” Ellenor said in an Instagram post that explained his exit from the fight. “He basically told me it was the start of brain illness, and it wasn’t a case of what could happen, but it was a case of what will happen. His advice was he doesn’t want me to ever take another shot again. He doesn’t think it’s a wise move to even continue training at all, never mind fight. Obviously I was devastated about it.

“He said it didn’t matter if I got his signature or not, the doctors would still have to see the assessment from my scan, and none of them would be happy to let me fight because I am high risk. So he left me there telling me I have to retire.”

Bellator officials later confirmed in a press release announcing the main event that Ellenor’s condition was a misdiagnosis and he has been cleared to return to action.

“Ellenor has been medically cleared by a licensed physician to return to active competition, following an incorrect reading initially provided by a doctor in South Africa,” Bellator officials said in a statement. “Bellator MMA, as well as the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulations which oversees the organization’s international events, maintains that athletes pass all medical requirements, ensuring they are held to the highest standards in safety and regulation.”

Ellenor is 8-2 in his career with a win over Nathan Grayson in his Bellator debut last February while Gallagher is coming off three straight victories after suffering the only defeat of his career back in 2018.

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