James Gallagher on return to win column at Bellator 298 following near two-year layoff


James Gallagher looked to make a statement in his return to the Bellator cage last weekend following a long layoff due to various injuries.

Gallagher was met by a tough test in the form of LAW MMA’s James Gonzalez, in what marked the Irishman’s first bout since suffering a loss to Patchy Mix in November 2021. “The Alley Cat” entered the bout with some momentum following a first-round knockout victory on the PFL Challenger Series, though Gallagher was hungrier than ever and managed to showcase his improved skills en route to a narrow split-decision victory.

“I did what I had to do,” Gallagher said in the post-fight press conference. “I won and that’s the main thing. I’ve got a lot to learn, a lot to grow – a lot to improve. It was a tough, tough fight, but I was calm. I won the first two rounds and then I just coasted in the last one…I had to do what I had to do. Winners f***ing win.”

Despite winning his first fight in nearly two years just moments prior, Gallagher already had his sights set on the next one – and even has an opponent in mind.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for (Leandro) Higo. Good fighter, tough challenge. If he wants to go 145 in Dublin in 40 days – I’m ready,” Gallagher said. “I’ll do that – no f***ing problem. I respect him, that’s a hard fight for me and that’ll be another win. I’m very, very interested in that.”

Higo called out Gallagher after winning his fight on Friday night, and while he fights at bantamweight as opposed to 145, it’ll be interesting to see whether Higo is up for the challenge and makes the move to featherweight to challenge “The Strabanimal”.

Watch the entire post-fight scrum with James Gallagher above.

James Gallagher def. James Gonzalez by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)


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