James Gallagher has given his take on his Bellator rival and fellow rising star Aaron Pico some words of support following another brutal loss sustained by him over the weekend.
Their connection is one that lies in the level of intensity with which the public cast their eyes over their careers – given the promise that is attached to their respective potential.
During a recent appearance on MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast, Gallagher gave his thoughts on the highly-touted prospect and upon being asked whether he thinks he’ll be able to mount to a resurgence, he expressed his frustration at those who write off someone so young and so clearly talented after just one setback.
The Strabanimal, who knows exactly what it was like to have the detractors out in force, took a shot at those who choose to attack young fighters like himself and Pico from the comfort of their couch.
“Hats off to him, he puts it on the line every time. I don’t particularly like the guy, but you can’t hate on someone for getting defeated. The worst kind of mindset that I’ve seen is someone who hates on someone and puts someone down. We have to pull these people back up.”
“You can’t kick a man while he’s down and it’s absolutely horrible that people that are sitting on their sofas with a tin of beer saying, ‘He’s done’. He’s only f*ckin’ 24 years old or something, he’s got a long road ahead of him. Maybe his career hasn’t got off to the start he wanted, but he’s not done.”
Pico, who is actually 22, has now been beaten three times after just seven pro-fights and all three defeats saw him sustain at least one hard shot that caused him to hit the canvas.
And while it is certainly something of a big setback for the prospect – given the amount of damage he has taken – Gallagher believes that the future can still be quite bright for Aaron Pico, so long as he makes the changes necessary to succeed.
“He’s a young fellah doing something he loves. I don’t think he should be going anywhere; the only place he should be going is back to the gym and training. Maybe he should take a little break, but he should go back to the gym, get back on the horse and go again.
“F*ck that. Don’t be listening to any of these bums saying he’s done. He’s achieved a lot more than any of those people have ever achieved.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena