James Gallagher injury prompts Bellator 187 reshuffle, including A.J. McKee to main event

Irish featherweight James Gallagher is injured, and his rival, A.J. McKee, is stepping into the spotlight.

Gallagher (10-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) recently suffered a knee injury and has been forced to withdraw from Bellator 187, prompting the promotion to elevate McKee (9-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) to the headliner of the Nov. 10 event at 3Arena in Dublin, where he’ll meet Brian Moore (10-5 MMA, 1-1 BMMA).

A Bellator official confirmed the news to MMAjunkie following an initial report from MMAFighting.com. Gallagher subsequently made an announcement on Instagram.

Instagram Photo

Absolutely heart broken to have to pull out from my fight Nov 10th due to a knee injury. I’ve tore the LCL and PCL. I’m going to let it heal up and recover 100% and I’ll be back stronger than ever! Hopefully we can get the “jimmy show” back in the new year!

McKee, initially targeted against Jeremy Petley (11-8-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), now faces SBG Ireland product Moore, whose original opponent, Andre Goncalves, will now face Irishman Decky Dalton on the same card.

Gallagher’s originally scheduled opponent, Jeremiah Labiano (11-5 MMA, 2-1 BMMA), will now be rebooked for Bellator 188 on Nov. 16 in Tel Aviv.

The unfortunate injury delays Gallagher’s return to home soil after a first-round submission of Kirill Medvedovsky in his third appearance for the Viacom-owned promotion in February. So far, the undefeated 20-year-old is 4-0 with the promotion.

Gallagher has circled McKee, another undefeated prospect in Bellator’s featherweight ranks. But despite a heap of trash talk between the two up-and-comers, the promotion has yet to book them. McKee has said he’ll only wait so long for the fight to happen.

Gallagher’s knee injury, of course, delays any showdown. McKee hopes to improve to 10 straight wins.

Bellator 187’s main card airs via tape delay on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

For more on Bellator 187, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Undefeated A.J. McKee set to fight Jeremy Petley at Bellator 187 in Ireland

Undefeated Bellator featherweight A.J. McKee was hoping to finally fight rival James Gallagher in his next fight. That won’t happen, but they’ll be in the same building.

McKee has been booked to face Jeremy Petley at Bellator 187, promotion officials today told MMAjunkie. The fight is set for the main card of Bellator 187, which takes place Nov. 10 at 3Arena in Dublin Ireland and airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

The event is headlined by the Irish Gallagher, a teammate of UFC champion Conor McGregor, taking on Jeremiah Labiano in his native country.

McKee (9-0 MMA, 9-0 BMMA) is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Blair Tugman at last month’s Bellator 182. The 22-year-old McKee, one of Bellator’s fast rising stars, owns the longest winning streak in company history at nine. He and the undefeated Gallagher have beefed in recent months. They appear to be on a collision course for a showdown, though it will have to wait for another day.

In Petley (11-8 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), McKee faces a fighter who snapped a four-fight losing streak in his previous bout, when he defeated Chase Morton by decision in May in his Bellator debut.

With the addition, the Bellator 187 lineup now includes:

  • James Gallagher vs. Jeremiah Labiano
  • John Redmond vs. Charlie Ward
  • Andre Goncalvez vs. Brian Moore
  • A.J. McKee vs. Jeremy Petley

For more on Bellator 187, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie