In the main event at Bellator Europe 9, James Gallagher put on a grappling clinic early. The build-up to the fight had been uncharacteristically subdued, with the brash Irish bantamweight staying quiet. Perhaps that was for the best, given his fight with Cal Ellenor had fallen through multiple times. Really, you couldn’t be sure they’d actually fight, until the pair were locked inside the cage on Saturday.
Gallagher, however, did his talking with his performance in Milan, Italy. Getting Cal Ellenor to the mat, taking the back, and locking on a body triangle, he showed that his BJJ skills were vastly superior. Try as he might, Ellenor could not roll or turn out of that body lock. He did have some success fighting off the rear-naked choke, pushing up on the elbow and making a go of it. However, after readjusting, Gallagher sunk the rear-naked choke in deep. The tap came shortly after.
In all honesty, “The StrabAnimal” made it look easy, and improved to 11-1 with the win. It is quite likely time for him to be thrown in the deep end at 135lbs.
Two other bouts featuring SBG Ireland fighters graced the main card of Bellator Europe 9. A wild opening round turned out to be the only round between Kiefer Crosbie and Charlie Leary. The pair came out swinging in the 160lb catchweight, with Crobie connecting early. But as the fight, or more accurately round, wore on, Leary’s boxing took over. He began piecing Crosbie up, tagging him several times. Crosbie found himself on his back, trying to survive a barrage of punches. His ability to cover up, scramble, and frankly, a fairly permissive referee allowed the bout to continue. But in the final seconds of the round, Crosbie was eating ground and pound once again.
While he made it back to his corner, Crosbie wouldn’t make it to the second round, as the doctor was brought in to check on a cut by the eye. An incensed Kiefer Crosbie could not believe the fight was waved off, but the victorious Leary promised the pair could run it back.
In the middle bout of the three-fight main card, Charlie Ward had to contend with Andy Monzolo on his back early. But in the second round, Ward was able to get Monzolo on the mat, and unleashed some heavy ground and pound. Monzolo would survive, and heading into the third, it was more than likely even. In the final frame, Ward got the fight down early, going to work in Monzolo’s guard. They’d go the distance in the end. A grueling fight, but a clear win for Ward, who improved to 6-1 inside the Bellator cage.
Bellator Europe 9 Main Card Results
James Gallagher def. Cal Ellenor by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 4:31
Charlie Ward def. Andy Monzolo by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Charlie Leary def. Kiefer Crosbie by TKO, Round 1, 5:00