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Dublin: 12°C Friday 23 April 2021
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Ex-rugby star Haskell booked for MMA debut on card headlined by Irish fighter Gallagher

The former England international will fight at Wembley Arena in May.

A new challenge awaits James Haskell.
A new challenge awaits James Haskell.
Image: Bellator MMA

JAMES GALLAGHER (10-1) WILL headline the return of mixed martial arts promotion Bellator to London later this year.

The 23-year-old from Strabane, who fights out of Straight Blast Gym in Dublin, will face England’s Cal Ellenor (8-2) in a rescheduled bantamweight bout at the top of the Wembley Arena bill on 16 May.

The event will also feature the MMA debut of former England rugby international James Haskell. The 34-year-old will enter the cage as a heavyweight against a yet-to-be-revealed opponent.

Before retiring from rugby last May, Haskell won 77 caps for England, travelled on the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour, and played for clubs like Wasps and Stade Francais.

The meeting of Gallagher and Ellenor was due to headline Bellator’s event at Dublin’s 3Arena this Saturday night.

However, when Gallagher was forced to withdraw due to injury, the clash of Leah McCourt and Judith Ruis was bumped up to the top of the bill.

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Paul Dollery

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