Steven Graham has predicted “a first-round finish” of James Gallagher when the pair clash in the Bellator Dublin main event at the 3Arena on Saturday night.
Bellator Dublin is now just a matter of hours away and with that in mind, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to everything you’ll need to know ahead of what should be an incredible night for Irish mixed martial arts.
Much of the talk leading up to the fight has been surrounding the Irish favourite James Gallagher who is looking to bounce back from his first professional defeat in front of a sold-out partisan crowd in Dublin.
Graham, however, is confident that once the cage door shuts he will be able to “technically bully” Gallagher and finish him within a round.
“I will beat him, no doubt,” said Graham.
“I’m going to pressure him, I’m going to be in his face, I’m going to technically bully him and I’m going to break him. I predict a first-round finish.”
The Kansas City native is going into Saturday’s main event on a five-fight win streak and speaking at the Bellator 217 media day, Graham outlined that he was “excited” to be booed by the Irish fans.
“The way that Dublin supports their people is fantastic. I made a reference earlier this week to how it’s kind of like where I’m from in Kansas City. We’re really big on our football and our Kansas City Chiefs.
“We’re known to have the loudest stadium in the world. So it’s really cool to come to a place that’s similar to that.
“I’ve been to some Chiefs games and it has been pretty loud so I’m excited man, I’m excited to get booed. They can cheer me on afterwards.”
Graham is 28-years of age and following nine professional and eight amateur fights will be making his Bellator debut on Saturday having previously fought for Kansas based promotion Walkout Fighting Championship.
The bantamweight believes that a win over the heavily favoured Gallagher should be enough for him to be rewarded with a Bellator contract.
“A win means a Bellator contract, most likely. I don’t know why they wouldn’t sign me when I win. For me, it’s a big step in my career and it’s everything I’ve ever wanted.
I’ve said in the leadup that I want to be in Bellator, this is the spot I want to be in. This is fantastic, this is what I want.”
With the focus of the fight, understandably, centred mostly around Gallagher, does Graham get sick of the questions about his opponent?
“It doesn’t really bother me.
I knew as soon as they said ‘that’s the guy’ that I was going to have to answer a lot about him more than me. And that’s fine. It is what it is. That’s the reason I’m making what I’m making and he’s making what he’s making.”