Helwani’s tweet said that an injury had forced Ellenor out of the fight, however, Ellenor has released a statement via his Instagram page going into detail about the injury and explaining that he was advised not to proceed with fighting by a neurologist.
“I got a phone call last Wednesday from Safe MMA saying that something had flagged up in my brain scans that I recently had done, something that they weren’t happy with, they wanted me to go through a neurologist to do an assessment on it. So obviously I didn’t want to just go to any neurologist and just be told “no” straight away because no neurologist really thinks it’s a good idea to be taking shots to the head anyway. So, I got in contact with someone I heard is a really good neurologist who’s dealt with fighters before in similar situations to these kind of things before and was basically my best option.
So, I got myself a train to London on short notice, booked tickets, went down there, paid the private doctor for assessment scans. Basically, when I fought in South Africa the first time, I didn’t have the scan images from when I did that in 2017, I just had a review. I went to the doctor in London, last Thursday I went, and basically he look at my scans and told me that I had a gap in my frontal lobe that wasn’t there previous and that I’ve also now had three black spots of damage on the right hand side of my brain. He basically told me that it was the start of brain illness and it wasn’t a case of what could happen, it’s a case of what will happen.”
Ellenor said the neurologist didn’t just recommend that he pulled out of this fight but that he retires from MMA and even stops training in the sport as well.
“His advice was he doesn’t even want me to take a shot again, saying he doesn’t think it’s a wise move for me to even continue training at all never mind fighting.”
“Cal Pacino” went on to suggest that he tried paying the doctor to sign the paperwork that would allow him to continue with the fight, but the doctor said that he would get caught when the commission looks at his brain scan for his pre-fight medical checks.
“I asked if I could just pay to get a signature on the sheet so I can still fight and he said it didn’t matter if I got a signature or not because the doctors would still have to see the assessment from his scan and none of them would be happy to let me fight because I’m high risk.”
Of course, it goes without saying that Ellenor made the right decision to pull out of the fight. However, he was still incredibly respectful to his planned opponent, James Gallagher, saying it’s tough on him as well as he would have been preparing in camp for Ellenor specifically.
“I just want to give a massive apology to James Gallagher about this, it’s obviously not ideal training for someone, having a whole camp specifically getting people in, like bringing tall kickboxers in for sparring, so I want to say sorry to him about the whole situation. It’s a nightmare for him as much as it is for me.”
Cal Ellenor has an 8-2 professional MMA record and recently joined the Bellator stable on their Newcastle show, which is very close to his hometown of Sunderland, and scored a first-round submission to kick start his Bellator journey.
It remains to be seen whether Ellenor will be cleared to fight again or whether that win close home in his first fight for a big organisation was be his last.
Here is the full video released by Ellenor on his Instagram page.