Bellator confirmed the fight on Wednesday via press release, a little over two weeks away from the event, which has suffered some major losses over the last number of weeks.
After one Irish draw, Peter Queally, was forced from his fight with former lightweight champion Brent Primus last week, an injury also led to original event headliner James Gallagher being removed from his main event clash with Cal Ellenor. Northern Ireland’s Leah McCourt will now take the main event slot for her featherweight meeting with Judith Ruis.
Kiely (3-2-0) has not competed since his first-round defeat at the hands of “MVP” at September’s Dublin event. Despite his lack of professional experience in mixed martial arts, he has been placed in vert prominent places during his runs with Bellator and BAMMA. Coming from a kickboxing background, Kiely has claimed stoppage victories in all three of his wins. He came up short in his two tests against promotional frontrunners, Alex Lohore [BAMMA] and Page [Bellator].
Hardwick (4-1-0) is set to make his Bellator debut on the night. He was a perfect 4-0 in his professional career, but tasted defeat for the first time when he met another unbeaten prospect, Madars Fleminas, in his promotional bow at Cage Warriors 109, which also marked his last outing.
Along with the addition of Kiely vs. Hardwick, Bellator revealed two further changes to the Dublin card. SBG featherweight Richie Smullen (5-1-1) will now face Brazilian fighter Alberth Dias (4-2), who replaces Ranjeet Baria. Scotland’s Calum Murrie (4-2) replaces Tom Mearns for his bout against another SBG featherweight, Dylan Logan (4-3).
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