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Coach Kavanagh: Bellator Have Changed The Lives Of My Fighters

John Kavanagh

The famed MMA coach explained exactly how much of a buzz has been generated by Bellator’s decision to sign a host of the best Irish fighters on the planet.

Scott Coker’s promotion grabbed quite a few headlines a few months back when they announced that they had signed a number of Irish and Irish-based fighters in a move that left many excited for their plans in the country.

SBG Ireland head-coach John Kavanagh explained recently exactly how much of a buzz has been generated in the gym – especially since the announcement of Bellator Dublin next month.

Speaking to ESPN, Kavanagh spoke about Bellator’s decision to sign a number of the gym’s finest fighters in one fell swoop and how the financial opportunities they have offered are having a huge effect.

“Bellator overnight have changed the lives of a huge amount of my guys, financially. For me as a trainer it’s huge. After all these years of having to do these European shows just enough so that the guys can fight in America and actually earn some money, now they can do it here.

“I’m very excited, it’s been a great morale lift for all my guys. There’s a great energy in the gym right now and I’m looking forward to this year and the coming years, making that relationship with Bellator even stronger.”

“Bellator are going to be really the only show that regularly visits European cities that can give the fighters a decent pay day. There are some other good European based shows, but the level of pay is so low it’s more like the pros are amateurs.

“There’s nobody that can make a living fighting on European shows, whereas at Bellator, they’re actually being paid like regular fighters – they can train full time and just focus on fighting, rather than having to work security on the weekends or work nine to five and train early in the morning or late at night.”

Bellator Dublin takes place in the 3Arena in the Irish capital on February 23, a night that promises to be an incredibly special night for the growth of the sport in this country.

“It’s going to be a fantastic night.

“It’ll be a packed arena, it’s a big fight card, a lot of Irish guys on the card so I think there’ll be a really nice momentum-build as the night goes on, building to a climax with Gallagher headlining against a tough American opponent, coming off a loss and get back on a win.”

A few weeks ago, we gave our take on Bellator’s latest trip to Dublin and why it could well be a pivotal night for Irish MMA and that article can here read here.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at