Just days after earning the ninth win of his professional career against Jeremiah Labiano in London, James Gallagher will move somewhere a little closer to home for his next bout.
Bellator have announced early Wednesday that ‘The Strabanimal’ will headline Bellator’s upcoming event in the Irish capital on September 27. The 22-year-old, who is 9-1 in his career to date, will face England’s Cal Ellenor (8-2) in the featured bout. News of the booking was announced by Bellator’s social media team.
Presale begins Thursday Morning at 9am IST / 1am PST! pic.twitter.com/FsfbUV0amp
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) July 3, 2019
Gallagher was the obvious candidate to headline the promotion’s return to Dublin. He has done so once already, where he won by first round submission against Steven Graham earlier this year, and was booked to do the same a year prior before injury forced his removal from the card.
Whereas these previous bookings were perhaps designed to introduce Gallagher to a wider audience (the new deal with Sky Sports doesn’t hurt there, by the way) it could easily be argued that the Irishman has advanced to the next stage of his career, from prospect to contender.
To stake a serious claim for gold at 135-pounds, Gallagher will have to get past the tough Ellenor. The Sunderland got arguably the biggest win of his career against Nathan Greyson at Bellator Newcastle in February but while that card was on home soil, he will have to contend with a fiercely partisan crowd when he takes on Gallagher.
It is likely that several of Gallagher’s SBG Ireland teammates will join him on the card, with Peter Queally, Kiefer Crosbie, Richard Kiely, Charlie Ward, Frans Mlambo and several others in strong contention to appear.