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Rugby star James Haskell set for Bellator debut on May 16, Gallagher vs. Ellenor to headline

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Bellator is set to return to Wembley Arena in London, England, and some high-profile names have already been announced for the May 16th card.

Bellator are hoping that the third time’s a charm for James Gallagher vs. Cal Ellenor as they’ve re-booked the bout to headline their May 16th Card in London, England.

The bantamweight pair have been booked to face one another twice before, but health concerns and injuries have stopped the fight from taking place on both occasions. As a result of their multiple attempted bouts, a rivalry between the two men has started to develop. One that will likely only continue to heat up until the duo collide this spring. The fight was announced in a press release on Thursday morning which also confirmed that international rugby star, James Haskell, would also be making his MMA debut on the show.

Gallagher (10-1) bounced back from his first professional defeat to win three straight last year, all on European soil. Most of his professional career has taken place inside Paramount/Viacom promotion, where he holds victories over Chinzo Machida, Jeremiah Labiano and Roman Salazar among others. ‘The Strabanimal’ is likely hoping that a win over Ellenor propels himself further toward title contention in the near future.

Ellenor (8-2) won’t have competed for more than a year by the time he steps into the cage at the SSE Arena, Wembley. In his last outing, ‘Cal Pacino’ made a successful Bellator debut when he stopped former Cage Warriors champion, Nathan Greyson, by submission in the first round. With all of his wins coming via stoppage, and having never been finished, Ellenor should represent a stern test for Gallagher.

Haskell (0-0) was unveiled as a major, heavyweight signing by Bellator back in August and immediately garnered mainstream headlines. The 34-year-old enjoyed an incredibly successful rugby career, which saw him achieve major honors for both club and country. He played for England 77 times between 2007 and 2018, representing his country in two Rugby World Cups and playing a key role in helping England win the Six Nations title in 2016 and 2017. Haskell has been training at London Shootfighters alongside ‘MVP’ and Mike Shipman for his debut. His opponent should be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The event will air live at 10pm BST on Channel 5 in the UK. In the US, the event will be streamed live on Bellator MMA’s YouTube Channel at 5pmET/4pmCT. Stay tuned for more fight announcements as they happen.