21-Year-Old Bellator Featherweight 7-0-0
November 2, 2017 James Gallagher News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Gallagher underwent knee surgery the weekend of Oct. 28 and claims it was successful, Peter Carroll of MMAFighting.com reports.
Gallagher was forced to miss his Bellator debut in Dublin, which was scheduled for Nov. 10, due to a knee injury sustained during training. The 21-year-old underwent surgery for his knee this past weekend and is hopeful that he'll be back to training in six weeks. Instead of having to fix ligaments like originally thought, Gallagher stated that doctors only "cleared cartilage and scoped out other stuff." When the Irishman will return isn't known, but the March date he was aiming for shouldn't be a problem.
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Fantasy AnalysisGallagher, one of Bellator's top prospects, was set to headline their Dublin event on Nov. 10, but suffered a knee injury during training. The young fighter is facing the possibility of surgery on his PCL and LCL. Without surgery, Gallagher predicts a return to training at the start of 2018. With surgery and recovery, the timetable for return expands to at least March. A featherweight bout featuring A.J. McKee and Brian Moore has been bumped up to the main event as a replacement.
Fantasy AnalysisGallagher is a top Bellator prospect and will be taking the main card slot against Jeremiah Labiano, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. The 20-year-old favors a grappling technique that has led to six submission wins, five of which utilized a rear-naked choke. The Irishman is 7-0 since turning professional at the age of 18.
Fantasy AnalysisThis was Gallagher's most impressive victory to date. He did not really try to strike at all with the Karate master. He closed the distance off a kick and was able to turn it into a takedown. Once on top, he passed to mount almost immediately. From there, he took the back in a scramble. It was only a matter of time until he latched on the fight ending submission. Gallagher is now 7-0 as a professional and 4-0 in Bellator, but this was hist first real test.
Fantasy AnalysisGallagher has put together back-to-back wins, with a victory over Anthony Taylor at Bellator 169 in 2016 and then defeating Kirill Medvedovsky at Bellator 173 in February of 2017. He'll see a bump in competition this time around, with a matchup against Chinzo Machida on tap in June. Gallagher has been more of a submission specialist, while Machida appears to end more fights with knockouts, so it should be a fight of contrasting styles. That said, Gallagher has youth on his side at age 20, while Machida checks in at 40 years old.
Fantasy AnalysisGallagher closed the distance and wrestled Medvedovsky to the ground early, landing big shots from back mount before closing the show with the RNC. The highlight of the evening may have come in the post-fight interview, where Gallagher called out fellow undefeated featherweight A.J. McKee for the London card in May. Gallagher has shown he is not to be trifled with on the ground in his professional MMA career, finishing five of his six victories by submission.
Fantasy AnalysisGallagher has been a big favorite in both of his Bellator fights mostly due to his reputation. After a lackluster debut, he scored his first finish in the promotion against Taylor. In the first round, neither fighter was really able to get their striking going. Gallagher landed a nice takedown late in the round, but Taylor bounced back to his feet. Gallagher looked better in the second and did some nice work with leg kicks, but Taylor was still game. In the final frame, the Irish fighter took advantage of a scramble and took the back standing. From there it was only a matter of time before the finish. Gallagher got the win, but he was facing a 1-1 fighter who went 4-6 an amateur. He may struggled with tougher competition in Bellator.