James Gallagher and Bellator 158 set for historic weekend
Irish mixed martial arts will achieve another milestone on Saturday night as James Gallagher (3-0) makes his Bellator MMA debut against Mike Cutting (6-5) at the O2 Arena, London.
Gallagher, 19, will feature on the main card at one of the most atmospheric venues on earth, the ‘lion’s den’, as boxing heavyweight world champion and London native Anthony Joshua calls it.
By staging Bellator 158 at the 02, the rapidly growing MMA promotion, founded in 2008, are demonstrating their worldwide appeal.
This Saturday will be the second time that Bellator have delivered a show to Europe.
Northern Ireland’s Gallagher is an ambitious fighter who thrives under the limelight.
At 15 years old he quit school and moved to Dublin to train and live with SBG coach John Kavanagh.
And now a schoolboy dream has turned into reality.
As a professional, Gallagher, aka ‘The Strabanimal’, has secured three wins with no defeats, all coming via first round submission.
The last was at BAMMA 24 where he outclassed Gerard Gilmore to win by rear naked choke.
Reflecting on the contest, he told Fightstore Media in March: “It felt the same as them all, unbelievable! I knew I was going to get the finish in the first round; there was no doubt about it.
“I put in the work and I know that I’m a level ahead of all the other featherweights in Ireland. I’m better than every other featherweight outside of the UFC.”
What makes Bellator 158 even more attractive is that his opponent, Mike Cutting, also sees himself as a submission specialist.
Six of Cutting’s victories have come from submission with three being inside the first round.
The English combatant will also be making his Bellator debut when he clashes with the Irish prospect.
Gallagher has predicted another first round victory and believes he will obtain the featherweight Bellator world title within three or four fights.
Viewers at home can watch this historic match-up on Spike TV or Channel Five from 10 p.m. on Saturday night.
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