Englishman Callum Ellenor has confirmed he has signed exclusively with Bellator MMA and will no longer compete in the Extreme Fighting Championship.
Bellator snapped up Ellenor (7-2) on a four-fight deal soon after his EFC bantamweight interim title loss to Luthando Biko (5-1) by unanimous decision in Cape Town in November 2018.
While the EFC has let their champions Dricus du Plessis (12-2) and JP Buys (6-2) simultaneously fight in rival promotions KSW and Brave Combat Federation respectively, Ellenor has made a clean break from the South African-based organisation.
Ellenor, whose Bellator debut is on home soil against Nathan Greyson (6-2) in Newcastle on February 9, expressed gratitude to the EFC for terminating his contract at his request.
“Yes, I’ve signed exclusively to Bellator, so I’ll not be fighting on any other shows,” Ellenor tells mmaengage.com.
“Basically when they offered us the contract, they knew obviously I’d have to speak to the EFC. They said obviously we are willing to sign you if the EFC were willing to release you. So I contacted the president [Cairo Howarth] of the EFC right away and basically just said like what the terms were; what they were offering us; what kind of things I’d be getting as far as purse-wise and what it would do for me career. And obviously they knew how much I wanted to do it and how much of a big deal it was for me to go there.
“But it also shows that fighters can go to the EFC and they’ve got good intentions. They’re not just going to just hold you to your contract and absolutely kill it off, and just not let you do anything. They want to be seen as a platform where you can go there and excel and grow in your career, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve went now and got massive experience, massive exposure and then caught the interest of big shows. So it works both ways; so they are now seen as a feeder organisation and it works for them in that respect. So they’ve obviously just thought of it as a good idea.
“They’ve released us completely, so now I’ll not be fighting for the EFC anymore – now I’m exclusively signed to Bellator. So that’s pretty much it really to be honest. They’ve been really helpful, like even as far as going and sending me MRI results that I did with him that they paid for. They’ve sent us that so I can use it for me Bellator contract, and just helped us out along the whole way. I can’t be more thankful to them, they’ve just been fantastic the whole time.”
‘Cal Pacino’ also revealed he had been on Bellator’s radar for a while.
He adds: “They’ve offered us a couple of fights before and I accepted them both, and they landed up falling through, so I might have been on their radar for a little while now. So I’m glad it finally came off and I managed to sign with them properly.”
Ellenor went 1-2 in the EFC, dropping a contentious split decision to Gareth Buirski (8-6) and submitting Faeez Jacobs (5-2) prior to losing to Biko.