One of the landmark events in the history of Irish MMA is upon us and with that in mind, we’ve made up a list of everything you’ll need to know going in.
The entire fight-card, as it was made available to the media from Bellator, will read as follows:
Bantamweight Main Event: James Gallagher (7-1) vs. Steven Graham (6-3)
Lightweight Co-Main Event: Peter Queally (11-4-1) vs. Myles Price (10-7)
Welterweight bout: Kiefer Crosbie (5-0) vs. Daniel Olejniczak (3-2-1)
Featherweight bout: Richie Smullen (3-1-1) vs. Adam Gustab (3-3)
Middleweight bout: Charlie Ward (5-3) vs. Jamie Stephenson (4-2)
Lightweight bout: Paul Redmond (14-7) vs. Charlie Leary (15-9-1)
Welterweight bout: Richard Kiely (2-1) vs. Mickael Bucher (3-4)
Welterweight bout: Walter Gahadza (17-3) vs. Ruben Crawford (16-3)
Flyweight bout: Ryan Curtis (4-1) vs. Luis Gonzalez (8-4)
Women’s featherweight bout: Olga Rubin (5-0) vs. Iony Razafiarison (5-1-1NC)
Middleweight bout: Will Fleury (4-1) vs. Shaun Taylor (8-1)
Welterweight bout: Alfie Davies (10-3) vs. Daniele Scatizzi (9-4)
Lightweight bout: Sam Slater (2-0) vs. Chris Duncan (3-0)
Women’s featherweight bout: Leah McCourt (1-1) vs. Hatice Ozyurt (2-6)
Featherweight bout: Dylan Logan (2-3) vs. Andrew Murphy (1-2)
Featherweight bout: Ian Cleary (1-1) vs. George Courtney (0-0)
The event will be headlined by the return of Strabane’s own James Gallagher as he looks to rebound from his first career loss with a win in the Irish capital.
So who’s he fighting then?
The man set to share the cage with The Strabanimal is Steven Graham.
Don’t be fooled by his 5-3 pro-record. Graham has won his last four fights in a row, all by first-round stoppage. In a recent interview with us here at Pundit Arena, James explained how he is not taking Graham lightly in the slightest.
“He’s a tough opponent. Solid jiu-jitsu game, coming off four first-round finishes. A confident man is a dangerous man.
“He’s coming off four first-round finishes, that’s a dangerous, dangerous man.
“He’s confident, he believes in himself and a man who believes in himself is dangerous. I can’t take that lightly.”
After losing by way of a vicious first-round knockout to Ricky Bandejas last time out, Gallagher, in the same interview, told us exactly what he has learned about himself from his first career defeat as a professional.
With his Bellator Dublin return now just a matter of hours away, James Gallagher spoke to @PunditArena about what he has learned about himself after sustaining his first career loss last year.#BellatorDublin #Bellator217 pic.twitter.com/bBWI5mvZIa
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) February 21, 2019
Why is this event so significant?
If you stack a fight-card top-to-bottom with the very best we have to offer, the fans are going to show up, the support is going to be rapturous no matter what happens. From there, the foundation will be laid for a symbiotic relationship that benefits both the promotion, Bellator, and our national scene.
The event is also the first European event to be broadcast as part of Bellator’s new deal with Sky Sports and DAZN – an added layer of significance to what is already looking set to be a memorable night.
Ireland’s MMA scene is primed for another huge kick and with a card as completely stacked with our nation’s finest as this one is – aside from a few outliers, there really is a feeling that it is very much ‘Ireland vs. The Rest Of The World’ on Saturday night.
What time does it begin at?
Doors will open at 4:30pm on Saturday with the action set to kick off at 5pm.
The main-card will begin at 9pm.
How do I watch it at home?
The preliminary card will be broadcast live on the Bellator app while the main-card will be available to watch on Sky Sports Action from 9pm.
When/where are the weigh-ins?
The official weigh-ins for the event will take place between 9-11am on Friday morning behind closed doors while the ceremonial weigh-ins will be commencing from 5pm in the 3Arena, Dublin.
The ceremonial event will be free and open to the public.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena