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Kavanagh v McCourt bumped up to co-main as Queally ruled out of Bellator 275 in Dublin

Drogheda’s Ciarán Clarke will now also fight on the main card, which will be shown live on Virgin Media Two in Ireland.

Sinead Kavanagh (L) and Leah McCourt (R).
Sinead Kavanagh (L) and Leah McCourt (R).

WATERFORD’S PETER QUEALLY has been ruled out of Friday night’s Bellator card in Dublin through injury, with the biggest ever fight between two Irish women — Sinead Kavanagh versus Leah McCourt — consequently bumped up to the co-main event slot.

As first reported by Severe MMA and later confirmed by Bellator, the original co-main between Queally (13-6-1) and Kane Mousah (13-4) has been removed from the card due to an undisclosed injury to the Dungarvan man.

To fill the partial Irish void left by recent lightweight title challenger Queally on Friday night’s main card at the 3Arena, Drogheda’s Ciarán Clarke (4-0) will now face Abou Tounkara (7-2) third last on the night. His bout will therefore be televised live on Virgin Media Two in in Ireland and on Showtime in the States, whereas the preliminary card on which he was originally scheduled to face the Frenchman will be shown live on Virgin Media Sport and streamed on Bellator’s and Showtime’s respective YouTube channels.

Khasan Magomedsharipov (6-0) versus Jose Sanchez (11-1) has also been added to what is now a five-fight main card, which will be headlined by a middleweight title scrap between champion Gegard Mousasi (48-7, 2 no contests) and number-one contender Austin Vanderford (11-0).

Dubliner Sinead Kavanagh (7-5) challenged Cris Cyborg for the featherweight title in November but was stopped in a first-round exchange with the vicious Brazilian.

A former national boxing champion and Irish team-mate of Katie Taylor’s, the 36-year-old remains world-ranked by Bellator and an emphatic victory on Friday could propel her back into title contention.

Leah McCourt (6-1) of Co. Down is on a six-fight win streak since losing her professional MMA debut in 2017.

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The 29-year-old’s expertise in Brazilian jiu-jitsu should make for an intriguing clash of styles with Kavanagh, a more naturally inclined striker, when two of Irish combat sport’s female protagonists temporarily park their friendship in Dublin on Friday.

Irish viewers can tune into the prelims from 6pm on Virgin Media Sport or on one of Bellator or Showtime’s YouTube channels, while the main card will begin on Virgin Media Sport at 10:30pm following live coverage of the U20s Six Nations game between Ireland and Italy.

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