James Gallagher encountered some resistance, but was able to take a unanimous decision victory over Jeremiah Labiano at Bellator 223.
James Gallagher might model his personality off of Conor McGregor, but not his fighting style. Gallagher is a submission specialist with six first-round submissions in his nine career fights. His last six fights have been with Bellator.
Jeremiah Labiano is 12-6 in his career with a 3-2 record in Bellator. He is coming off a first-round TKO victory.
Early on, Gallagher displayed an in-and-out striking style before closing in with a clinch and taking Labiano down into side control. Gallagher landed several elbows and was content to stay in side control. Labiano controlled the head and picked up his knee to prevent a move to mount. This round, however, was all Gallagher. Labiano was able to spin into full guard with about a minute left, where Gallagher kept him for the remainder of the round.
Gallagher started the second round with a strong leg kick and a combination. His kicking game looked strong and while Labiano looked better on the feet this round, Gallagher was controlling this round. Labiano looked to take back control with a clinch against the cage. Gallagher drove across the cage with a takedown attempt, but it was effectively stuffed by Labiano, who was able to secure top position after standing up briefly. Labiano held Gallagher down closed in guard against the cage for over a minute to win the second round.
Gallagher kicked off the final round with a takedown and the fighters ended up in a strange half guard/side control hybrid with Gallagher on top. Eventually, the Irishman moved to full mount, then took the back. However, Labiano swept him into guard and kept top position for nearly the final two minutes of the round.
James Gallagher def. Jeremiah Labiano by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)