Category Archives: James Gallagher

Bellator 180's James Gallagher eyeing title: 'I'm not here to just be this young, cocky kid'

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos

NEW YORK – At just 20 years old, James Gallagher is ready to take the fight world by storm.

Gallagher (6-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), a teammate of UFC champion Conor McGregor, may be somewhat green as a professional, but he has an extensive amateur background and believes he is well beyond his years as a competitor.

He faces Chinzo Machida (5-2 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) on Saturday at Bellator 180, which takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City prior to the Bellator NYC pay-per-view. It’s his biggest fight to date, but Gallagher said he’s been ready for the spotlight since he quit school at 15.

“This is where I belong,” Gallagher told MMAjunkie. “I don’t belong anywhere else. Why shouldn’t I be comfortable here? This is what I do. This is what I love to do and what I strive off. A lot of people think that just because I’m young and on such a big stage that I should be uncomfortable and this kind of thing. This is what I strive for, this is what I love to do. I don’t want to be anywhere else but here.

“When I was 15 years old, that’s when I decided this is what I want to do. I had 10 amateur fights and I was at school and I hated school. I wasn’t good at school and I was getting bad grades. … I just couldn’t do it anymore and wanted to get out and just wanted to train. Then I quit school when I was 15. I told my parents, ‘I can’t do this any more, but I can do (MMA).’ No one in Ireland was in the UFC at the time. There was no set path or anything like this. I told them I would work hard at this.”

Gallagher credits his parents for supporting him when he bailed from school and decided to follow a career in martial arts. Thus far, it’s paid off. “The Strabanimal” has put together six consecutive wins to start his pro career, including three under the Bellator banner.

Machida, the brother of former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, is Gallagher’s most challenging opponent to date. He brings a karate-based style which can be a complicated riddle for many foes to solve. Gallagher said he’s not worried about that, though, because he intends on making Machida figure him out, and not the other way around.

“I have a tough opponent in front of me, but he’s limited,” Gallagher said. “He moves back and forward in straight lines and he’s just got that one style. I’ve got it all. I’ve got the striking, I’ve got the clinch, I’ve got the ground, I’ve got the in-close boxing, and I’ve got the distance fighting. I’ve got that karate style, as well. I can do all that. I started off doing karate. I feel I’ve got it all, where he’s got that one style.”

Gallagher hopes his fight at Bellator 180 will help catapult him up the featherweight pecking order. He is the youngest fighter in the division, but already feels as if he’s the best. Gallagher is ready to be fast tracked into a championship showdown with Patricio Freire as soon as possible, he just hopes that Bellator has the same confidence in him as he has in himself.

“I’ll fight for the belt tonight if they give it to me,” Gallagher said. “I wanted that belt when I first signed with Bellator and I made it clear. That’s what I want. I’m not here to just be this young, cocky kid. I don’t give a (expletive) about all that. I’m coming here to win fights and make statements and that’s what I’m coming here to do and preparing to do. I want the belt. That’s what my goal is.”

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator NYC pre-event facts: Wanderlei Silva's return backed by strong numbers

The biggest event in Bellator history takes place Saturday when the promotion touches down in New York City for the first time with Bellator NYC and Bellator 180 at Madison Square Garden.

The Bellator NYC lineup, which features two title fights and airs on pay-per-view, is headlined by one of MMA’s most heated grudge matches when Chael Sonnen (28-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) finally meets former PRIDE champ Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in the light-heavyweight headliner.

Bellator NYC’s PPV lineup follows a four-fight offering on Spike, which is headlined by a light heavyweight title rematch. Current titleholder Phil Davis(17-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) puts his belt on the line against Ryan Bader (22-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), who edged “Mr. Wonderful” by split decision under the UFC banner in January 2015.

For more on the numbers behind Bellator’s most stacked fight card to date, check out 30 pre-event facts for Bellator NYC and Bellator 180.

* * * *

Main event

Chael Sonnen

Sonnen enters the event with just one victory in his past five fight dating back to July 2012. His lone victory in that stretch came against Mauricio Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 in August 2013.

Sonnen has suffered 14 of his 15 career losses by stoppage.

Silva, 40, is the oldest of the 18 fighters scheduled to compete at Bellator NYC and Bellator 180.

Silva returns to competition for the first time since March 3, 2013. The 1,574-day layoff is the longest of his more than 20-year career.

Silva competes outside the UFC or PRIDE FC organizations for the first time since August 2000.

Silva’s 40 appearances in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are tied with Dan Henderson for most in combined organizational history.

Silva’s 27 victories in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are the most in combined organizational history.

Silva’s 20 stoppage victories in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are second most in combined organizational history behind Mirko Filipovic (21).

Silva has alternated wins and losses over his past six fights. He defeated Brian Stann by knockout in his most recent bout at UFC on FUEL TV 8 in March 2013.

Co-main event

Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko (36-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) is 2-0 since he returned from retirement in December 2015.

All of Matt Mitrione’s (11-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) career bouts have come under the Bellator or UFC banner.

Mitrione has earned 10 of his 11 career victories by stoppage.

Mitrione has earned all 10 of his career stoppage victories by knockout.

Remaining main card

Douglas Lima

Douglas Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) competes in his 12th Bellator welterweight bout, tied with Andrey Koreshkov for the most appearances in divisional history.

Lima’s nine victories in Bellator welterweight competition are tied with ex-champ Ben Askren for second most in divisional history behind Koreshkov (10).

Lima has earned 24 of his 28 career victories by stoppage.

Lima’s seven stoppage victories in Bellator welterweight competition are most in divisional history.

Lima’s eight knockout victories in Bellator competition are most in company history.

Lima’s seven knockout victories in Bellator welterweight competition are most in divisional history.

Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) is 4-1 since he dropped to the welterweight division in January 2015.

Larkin has earned all three of his welterweight stoppage victories by knockout.

Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) competes in his 17th Bellator bout, tied for the second most appearances in company history behind David Rickels (18).

Chandler competes in his ninth Bellator title fight, the most in company history.

Chandler’s five Bellator title-fight victories are tied with Eduardo Dantas and Askren for most in company history. His three title-fight loses are most in company history.

Chandler’s 13 victories in Bellator competition are second most in company history behind Patricio Freire (14).

Chandler’s 10 stoppage victories in Bellator competition are tied with Freire for most in company history.

Brent Primus’ (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) five-fight Bellator winning streak in lightweight competition is tied with Adam Piccolotti for the longest active streak in the division.

Bellator 180 main card

Phil Davis

Davis’ four-fight winning streak in Bellator light-heavyweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Bader makes his Bellator debut following a UFC tenure in which he made 20 light-heavyweight appearances, the most in company history.

Bader enters the event with seven victories in his past eight fights. The lone defeat in that stretch came against Anthony Johnson at UFC on FOX 18 in January 2016.

Bader owns a split-decision victory over Davis at UFC on FOX 14 in January 2015.

James Gallagher

James Gallagher (6-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), 20, is the youngest of the 18 fighters scheduled to compete at Bellator NYC and Bellator 180.

Heather Hardy (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), a professional boxing standout, makes her MMA debut at the event.

For complete coverage of Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie