You’ll Either Love Him or Hate Him… James Gallagher Has Made His Return to the Cage and Sealed a First Round Finish to Get His Career Back on Track…

James Gallagher made a statement in front of an Irish crowd in Dublin last night, with an emphatic victory over Steven Graham in the 3Arena. It was a vital win for Gallagher after getting knocked out by Ricky Bandejas in his last fight. This time around, he answered his critics with a devastating display of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Many MMA fans have criticized the 22 year old for trying too hard to be like his most famous teammate, Conor McGregor. You just had to watch the weigh-ins and face-offs to see it. With massive chest tattoos, similar poses, and Gallagher shoving Graham in front of the crowd, anything less than a win would have seen get torn apart online.

But win he did, and you can watch a clip of the finish below, courtesy of Bellator on DAZN.

Submission

Gallagher might emulate Conor McGregor outside the cage, but he’s more like his head coach John Kavanagh inside it. His style is heavily based off of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He famously moved from Strabane in Donegal, in Ireland’s far north, to live with Kavanagh and train with him, from the age of 15.

That BJJ background was evident again in Dublin. He sunk in the rear-naked choke and won by submission for the seventh time in his young career. The Irish crowd went absolutely wild for a man who is set to be a star if he stays on track.

Irish Fighters

There were an incredible 15 out of 32 Irish fighters fighting on the Bellator card in Dublin. In the co-main event, one of Conor McGregor’s training partners and closest friends, Peter Queally was defeated by SBG ‘snake’ Myles Price. Price famously moved to train at AKA in California where Khabib Nurmagamedov is based.

Elsewhere, former Ultimate fighter contender Richie Smullen got on the win-board, as well as UFC veteran Paul Redmond. Bellator is already planning on coming back to Ireland later in the year. They’re really trying to push the European market.

Discovery

John Kavanagh famously told Ariel Helwani back in 2017, how he discovered the young diamond in his stable. He explained:

“So I was judging a fight show in a small part of Ireland where he’s from and a 13-year-old walked out, and he was fighting a 22-year-old. I told the promoter I’m not going to be involved with this, a child should not be fighting an adult, so I left the show. But, I kind of popped my head in and watched out of morbid curiosity, and this 13-year-old took a few hard shots, took a guy down, took his back, and choked him. A 22-year-old man.

There’s a big difference between a 13-year-old and a 22-year-old, so there was serious potential there. I had a chat with his parents and him, and I said look, I’ll train him, but he’s not allowed to fight MMA again until I say. I didn’t like the idea of him being hit in the head at that young age. Then he moved in with me, he was doing an eight-hour round-trip to do a one-hour class, his father would drive him four hours down, he’d train for one hour, and then four hours back, we kept that up for two years and then at 15 he dropped out of school and moved down to Dublin.

He moved in with me, and then we became.. I like to think older brother, but sometimes I get confused for his father”

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