LAST WEEK “The English Gangster’s” Paradise had turned into hell – now after a traumatic brain scan ordeal Cal “Pacino” Ellenor is desperate for his shot at James Gallagher.
The 28-year-old was due to face “Strabanimal” in the main event at Bellator Dublin tonight until the MMA promotion announced the Sunderland fighter had been forced out on medical advice.
In an emotional video posted to his Instagram page, Ellenor revealed he had been advised to retire due to a brain injury spotted by a neurologist in his pre-fight check-up.
The devastated star was quickly replaced by Roman Salazar for the Irish extravaganza as he was left to pick up the pieces as he worried for his and his families future while his mother battles pneumonia in hospital.
Ellenor admits it was “the lowest point” of his life – but in a rollercoaster turn of events he now suddenly finds himself with a second chance following miscommunication regarding his brain check.
Speaking exclusively to Sun Sport, he said: “I feel like I’ve been massively wrong done to and my opportunity has been taken away from me. I am also massively out of pocket and I’ve just been left to cope with all of this.
“I’ve had the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was heartbroken and the doctor could not have given me any worse news really.”
The North Easterner explained: “It stems from my time in South Africa. The stuff that is on my brain is there, but it hasn’t changed since 2017 and I’ve had five fights since then with camps too and the damage hasn’t changed.
“So I’ve been cleared to fight again because of those five fights and there being no difference – but I’ve been quite fortunate. The lab in South Africa would not give me the sheets – their neurologist either missed four things that they should’ve been looking for or potentially lied on the sheet to get me cleared. But they know what to look for on a fighter’s brain.
“That’s what has caused this whole thing but a friend of mine managed to get the scans after pestering them. The neurologists here then looked at my 2017 one and compared it with my latest one and they were identical.
“And because of that, and I’m not at any further risk than my previous fights, they have cleared to compete again. But of course they have told me to keep getting regular checks.”
A Bellator statement said: “Cal was removed from the Bellator Dublin event based upon medical advice and his inclusion on future fights cards will be subject to medical approval.”
After the traumatic period, Ellenor will still be in Dublin tonight to watch the man he should have been facing in action in front of his adoring public.
But as Aaron Chalmers revealed when speaking to Sun Sport earlier this year, Bellator could be returning to Newcastle before the end of the year.
And the “English Gangster” cannot think of anywhere better than his home region to get what he is owed.
LATEST BELLATOR NEWS
He added: “Two nights ago I got the all-clear. Instantly I felt on top of the world and that I’d been given my life back and a second chance.
“The first thing I told them was I was ready to fight James at the first opportunity. That’s what I want and I deserve it. We owe it to each other.
“I’ve called him out on social media and spoke to him directly and I know he is keen to get the fight on and he is happy to come over here to do it.”
Bellator Dublin: Gallagher vs. Salazar and Bellator 227: Henderson vs. Jury takes place tonight at the 3Arena in Dublin.
The event will be dual broadcast and will be shared by Channel 5 and Sky Sports in the UK, Virgin Media Television in Ireland and Paramount Network in the US.