We caught up with rising MMA fighter James Gallagher at the Bellator 169 press conference in Dublin recently and he was cautious about comparisons to MMA’s hottest topic, the UFC’s Conor McGregor. The confident young fighter also outlined some gigantic ambitions for his own career.
When asked if he would like to mirror the achievements of his superstar teammate he replied “I don’t want to mirror anything. Not a single thing do I want to mirror. I want to do everything, but better. I’m striving for greatness, I’m focusing so much on myself that I feel I can take that to the next level. I’ve seen all that he’s done, so now I’m going to do it better. I feel I’m going to rise and become a complete different animal.”
James did, however, explain that the influence of having the UFC’s first double champ around as an inspiring one. He said, “The way I see it is, the greatest fighter of all time, the greatest fighter in the world training at SBG, is Conor. He’s the greatest fighter so everyone is competing, in a new way, to become better… everyday there’s something new. It’s so good to see the elevation every day, where you can just rise and rise and it’s all thanks to John and Conor and Gunni, these kind of guys.”
James left school at the tender age of 15 in order to follow his dream of becoming the best MMA fighter in the world, after years of making the long round trip to Dublin from Strabane, James’ hometown in Northern Ireland, he took the leap of moving to Dublin and was housed by SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh and his partner Orlagh. He explained “It wasn’t even a risk, I just loved training and I hated school… I’m not going to learn how to become the greatest MMA fighter in school, it’s just not going to happen, but I am going to learn to be the greatest at SBG.”
He initially used days allocated for ‘trade’ training to come down to SBG and train with John, having met him at a local MMA event where a 13 year old Gallagher faced a 21 year old man inside the cage. Kavanagh was due to judge the fight but refused on account of James’ age -having been impressed by his decision victory though, they got talking and so started the relationship between fighter and coach.
With coach Kavanagh set to be present at the event and the backing of a home crowd, there will be plenty of expectation going into this contest and the atmosphere will certainly be intense! Facing a fighter with a wrestling background and knockout power, it could make for an entertaining match up, for more see our fight preview!
As far as the fight is concerned the SBG fighter believes this will be a one-sided and convincing victory that will have people talking, “It’s going to be a clinic, that’s all it is. No matter where it goes I’m going to be calm, focused and see it for what it is… It’s just going to be so clinical, clean, calm and precise. Everyone’s jaws are just going to be dropped.”
Stay tuned for our candid, eye opening interview with this intriguing MMA talent coming very shortly!