Jed Meshew interview Bellator’s James Gallagher

by Jed Meshew @JedKMeshew


At solely 20 years outdated, James Gallagher is dreaming large and planning to observe within the footsteps of his coaching accomplice Conor McGregor by turning into a two-division champion.

On Saturday night at Bellator 180, Gallagher had one of many breakout performances of final week, submitting Chinzo Machida with a rear-naked choke in a bit greater than two minutes. It was Gallagher’s fourth win within the Bellator cage however, greater than that, Gallagher believes it was a turning level for him. On the largest stage of his younger profession, Madison Sq. Backyard, “The Strabanimal” turned in his most spectacular efficiency and proved to himself that he’s able to do nice issues within the sport.

“Extra individuals can match into that enviornment that I simply fought in than there’s in my hometown,” Gallagher stated. “I really feel a fantastic pleasure and I’m type of humbled on my own. I confirmed myself that I can do something on this recreation. I’ve confronted the very best stress occasion that I’m in all probability ever gonna face. I’m gonna go on and do lots larger issues in my profession. I’m gonna win world titles and I’m gonna do a lot larger issues than I did on Saturday evening however this second is gonna be one which I’ll bear in mind for the remainder of my life. It’s a turning level.”

Instantly after his win, Gallagher known as out Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Freire, who responded favorably, however it appears like for now, 145 pound title aspirations must take a again seat as a result of the undefeated featherweight says he’s dropping all the way down to 135 kilos to return after Eduardo Dantas’ belt first.

“I feel November is subsequent for me and I’m considering I’m taking place and whipping a couple of 135ers,” Gallagher instructed Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour lately. “I’m gonna drop down a weight class I feel. I’m gonna converse to my workforce first earlier than committing to something however it’s trying like 135 is within the playing cards and hopefully I can go down and get that belt. Hopefully I’ll have one or two fights and I’ll get the title shot. I’m fairly assured. I’m not 100 % certain however I’m fairly assured that it’s gonna be at 135.”

Gallagher has by no means competed at bantamweight earlier than and even had an novice combat at light-weight. When requested if Bellator or Scott Coker had any ideas on his plan, Gallagher admitted he hadn’t run it by them but however that he couldn’t see why they’d have a difficulty with it since he was the man who would put the Bellator bantamweight division on the map.

“I can’t see why not. I really feel prefer it’s gonna be good. It’s solely gonna carry consideration to the 135 pound division as a result of right here’s the factor, you don’t ever, ever hear of something within the 135 division. It’s silent. There’s by no means any large fights from it. You by no means hear any names arising, you by no means hear any prospects, you by no means hear something about it and I really feel like I’m gonna be the man that brings consideration to it.”

Whether or not that’s true stays to be seen however the Northern Irishman is definitely beginning to carry consideration to himself and his deliberate drop to 135 kilos will seemingly carry extra. As a brash speaking, assured younger man coaching out of SBG Eire, Gallagher is already evoking comparisons to his teammate, two division UFC champion Conor McGregor and his intention to drop to a different weight class will solely deepen the comparisons. And whereas Gallagher admits that following in McGregor’s footsteps is definitely on his thoughts, he additionally says the burden drop is a matter of practicality: the shortest path to his final purpose, 10 kilos of gold round his waist.

“It’s a distinct type of problem. Totally different individuals and I really feel like, if I’m talking realistically, I do know I need the belt and I known as for the belt however I really feel prefer it’s gonna take me one other three or 4 fights to get me a shot on the belt. However I really feel like if I drop all the way down to 135, I solely want one or two [more fights]. That’s a part of the rationale. And I’m solely 20 years outdated. Possibly in two or three years time I received’t be capable to make 135 however I can now so I’m gonna go and do what Conor did. I’m gonna go down and get the 135 belt after which I’m gonna come again up and get the 145 belt.”

Following within the footsteps of McGregor is already an formidable endeavor however Gallagher plans to do it even higher. McGregor received his first title, the Cage Warriors featherweight belt, at 23 and adopted that up six months later by successful the light-weight title. Gallagher plans to do each earlier than he turns 22.

“I reckon this time subsequent 12 months, I’m gonna have the 135 belt after which I reckon as soon as I get that, my subsequent combat straight after that’s gonna be for the 145 belt.”

 (Supply courtesy of