Paul Hughes Survives Knockdown, Smashes Bobby King in Debut at Bellator Dublin

Paul Hughes and Bobby King, Bellator Dublin
Paul Hughes and Bobby King, Faceoffs during 2024 Bellator EUROPE 3: Dublin Faceoffs at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. (Jose Peñuela / Bellator Europe 3)

Featherweight prospect and former Cage Warriors champ Paul Hughes made his promotional debut in the co-main event of Bellator Dublin on Saturday, taking on Hawaiian Bobby King in the third Bellator Champions Series card of 2024.

Hughes was a big free agent pickup for the PFL (and as a result, Bellator) after the UFC’s own offer failed to impress. And while his debut wasn’t entirely smooth sailing, in the end Hughes did not fail to impress.

Bobby King chose to take the fight right to Hughes once the opening bell rang, but his first kick, a spinning attack, sailed wide. A Hughes calf kick did not, tripping up King. A moment later, a King jab sat Hughes down momentarily, though he was right back to his feet, attacking with low kicks.

From there, the pair clinched up, with Hughes putting King on the fence. King landed off the break, but Hughes returned to the clinch, driving King back. Hughes fired a knee to the body, while controlling the wrists. He fired a nasty-looking elbow off the break, but that didn’t connect, luckily for King. From there, a bit of a firefight erupted, before Hughes again tied things up.

Round two started out a little better for newcomer Hughes, as just over a minute in, he landed a key takedown. Hughes quickly looked to improve position, while landing a nasty elbow or two from the top. King couldn’t seem to find the space necessary to scramble or wall walk out.

More elbows were delivered by Hughes, who was working in half-guard looking to pass into mount. King would briefly get full guard back, but couldn’t hold on; Hughes was soon threatening to pull his leg through and more to mount, while adding more ground n’ pound. Hughes then got into side control, roughly a minute still on the clock. More smashing elbows rained down, and Bobby King was badly bloodied. Hughes let loose with a final torrent, smashing his way to victory as the ref moved in!

Official Result: Paul Hughes def. Bobby King by TKO, Round 2, 4:50