Paul Hughes will face Bobby King when Bellator head to Dublin for their Champions Series.

Having signed with the PFL in earlier this month, the Irishman will make his first outing under the PFL/Bellator banner on June 22 in a Lightweight contest at the 3Arena.

After a hugely successful four years with Cage Warriors, which saw him crowned the Featherweight champion, Hughes decided to explore free agency when he contract was up at the start of 2024 and after numerous offers from numerous promotions, ‘Big News’ opted to commit his future to the PFL. The deal will see Hughes compete in the 2025 Tournament, for his chance to be crowned champion, and earn the $1 million dollar check in the process.

Following the news, Hughes took to social media to express his delight in getting to compete so soon after signing with the promotion. He said:


"You really thought I wasn’t gonna fight until 2025?

"Delighted to announce that my debut for @pflmma will be on their @bellatormma Champions Series Card in Dublins 3Arena. CO MAIN EVENT.

"I’m absolutely ecstatic to keep the ball rolling this year and to keep proving my skills as one of best on the planet. To have the opportunity to fight in the 3Arena is huge to me.

"It’s likely that this could be my last fight at home in a couple years as the @pflmma tournament is in the USA. So I’m gonna make sure this one is extra special for you all.

"I plan to put on the most exciting scrap you’ll see all year against a formidable opponent in Bobby King. So let’s blow the roof off the bloody place.

"For those booking tickets, link is in bio. We are going to take over BLOCK D. Tickets range from €45-€85.

"Buses from Belfast/Pre fight meet-ups are being arranged soon. I will keep you up to date on my stories.

"To everyone who’s supported me this far I love you. Now here’s to the next chapter


In his first outing for the promotion, Hughes will face American, Bobby King. The 40-year-old will make the walk to the Bellator cage for the sixth time and look to get back to winning ways and have his hand raised for the first time since 2022.

In his promotional debut, King beat Nick Newell at Bellator 260 before coming up short against Alexander Shabliy six months later. He then build a steady run of form when he beat Aviv Gozali and Keoni Diggs to start to establish himself in the Lightweight division. However his form then took a dip when he came up against Gadzhi Rabadanov at Bellator 283. He was then handed a second consecutive defeat at the hands of Aalon Cruz at Bellator 295.

The Hughes bout will mark King’s first bout in over a year – with the Irishman making the walk for the second time in 2024. ‘Big News’ revealed, when speaking to Sky Sports, that although he was too late to enter the 2024 tournament, fans can expect some exciting match ups for the 27-year-old for the remainder of the year.

The bout will serve as the Bellator Champions Series Dublin’s co-main event, with Jason Jackson looking to make the first defence of his Welterweight title against Ramazan Kuramagomedov. There is plenty of Irish talent littered throughout the card, with the likes of Brian Moore, Peter Queally, Sinead Kavanagh and Nathan Kelly all set to feature.