James Gallagher returns to action at Bellator 169 in Dublin, Ireland on December 16th 2016 against Anthony “Pretty Boy” Taylor.
We managed to grab an interview with the undefeated featherweight star ahead of his return to Dublin, starring in the co-main event on an exciting night of MMA collaboration between BAMMA and Bellator.
Bellator 169 will mark your return to the 3Arena in Dublin. How much do you enjoy fighting in front of the Irish crowd?
There’s nothing else in this world that I’d want to do than go out and perform for the people of my home country.
You fight out of SBG Ireland under the highly respected John Kavanagh. How much has his tuition helped you?
I take so much pride in representing SBG. Not only has John gave me a skill set for fighting, but he has also given me a lot of skills for life in general. He has helped me become the person I am today and has gone above and beyond for me, which I am forever thankful for.
Fighting at featherweight, out of SBG, with the Irish tricolour draped over your shoulders – how often do you get compared to Conor McGregor and how does it make you feel?
Getting compared to the greatest fighter in the world? It makes me feel great because that’s exactly what I’m going to be known as in the near future. People will say James Gallagher the best fighter in the world, not James Gallagher the next Conor McGregor or Gunnar Nelson. I’ll be known as James Gallagher – the greatest. I don’t want to be anybody else, just me.
Going 5-0 as an amateur and 4-0 as a pro, is the sky the limit for you?
There is no limit for me. I’m different and I’ll be known as the greatest.
You were forced to pull out of the IMMAF World Championships in 2015 due to injury. Were you gutted at the time or was the plan always to turn professional after the tournament?
Yes, I was devastated! The plan was always to turn pro after it but I wanted that gold medal that I went for. I tried to keep going but I couldn’t use my arm at all which is when my coach, John Kavanagh made the decision to pull me which was for the best.
Were you surprised that you were given the co-main event slot at Bellator 169?
Yes very surprised. I should have been the main event!
Anthony Taylor said to #WHOATV that you’ve only fought “bums”. How do you respond to that?
Every person I have fought says the same thing until they get strangled.
He also said he’d show you the difference between a man and a boy. Do you think he’s got any chance?
He’ll be begging for his life in there, calling me daddy before I strangle him. Ask him if I’m a child after the fight! It’s going to be pretty embarrassing for him getting his head smashed in by a child in front of 9,500 people at the arena at the people watching at home on Spike TV isn’t it!
If you could fast forward five years, where would James Gallagher be?
At the top.