Promising young Irish fighters, and the results of last week’s IMMAF World Championship attest that their are plenty, will have to get used to being compared to Conor McGregor.
After all, he is the first Irishman to really succeed in the world’s premier MMA organisation, the UFC, and he has come to define the sport in his country.
Given McGregor’s level of success, most will be flattered by such comparisons, at first at least, but in an individual sport where it is important to establish your own identity, nobody is going to want to be haunted by constantly drawn parallels with another fighter, regardless of how big a name he is.
One fighter who seems keen to insure that such comparisons never become irksomely common is McGregor’s SBG Ireland teammate James Gallagher.
‘The Strabanimal’, who makes his Bellator MMA debut tonight in London, spoke to MMAJunkie’s Chamatkar Sandhu at a press conference earlier this week about how different his personality and fighting style are to those of his ‘Notorious’ training partner.
“Conor is Conor, and I am James,” said the 19-year-old featherweight prospect. “We are two totally different people. Conor is more outgoing, different looks and things. He’s just a completely different person than me. Conor would float up here in a nice three-piece suit. I show up in a tracksuit, because this is me”.
“Where I come from, you only wear suits if you’re going to court. But I’m here to fight”.
In terms of their approaches and strengths inside the cage, the two are also very different. While McGregor was bowling opponents over with his powerful left-hand early on in his career, Gallagher has finished all three of his fights thus far via first-round submission. Tapology list Gallagher as 5-0 as an amateur, although he likely had many more fights in the unpaid ranks, and all but one of those wins came by submission.
“Our fighting styles are completely different as well,” said Gallagher. “He is a striker and stuff. All my wins come by submission”.
“I’ve got a calmness and a jiu-jitsu capability that I don’t think anyone in my division in Bellator has got. Once I go to the ground, it’s only a matter of minutes before I finish you”.
Gallagher’s fight with Mike Cutting will not be shown live tonight, but it will be aired on a tape delay. You can watch Bellator 158 from 9 p.m. in the U.K and Ireland on Spike U.K.
#Bellator158 on 📺 Tonight:
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