Bellator MMA officials had already announced that SBG Ireland’s James Gallagher is set to feature at their February show in Belfast, Bellator 173, but they left fans asking one key question – ‘Against whom will he compete?’
Now we know.
On Tuesday, writing for Newstalk, Irish journalist Peter Carroll broke the news that Gallagher’s opponent will be the man that he was originally scheduled to face at Bellator 164 in Tel-Aviv last November, Israel’s Kirill ‘The Messenger’ Medvedovsky.
Gallagher, who signed with the promotion last year, was pulled from the card in Israel after Bellator brass decided to stage an event at the 3Arena in Dublin on December 16th.
As Ireland’s hottest young prospect, Gallagher had to be part of the show.
Thus, Medvedovsky was instead thrown in with the exciting and, apparently, ‘Insane’ Russian-born veteran Georgi Karakhanyan, who finished him inside a round. The loss meant that Medvedovsky dropped to 7-3 as a professional.
Gallagher would go on to face and eventually submit American showman Anthony Taylor in front of a raucous crowd at the 3Arena.
As rabidly enthusiastic as that crowd in Dublin was, though, ‘The Strabanimal’ expects fans at the SSE Arena in Belfast to be even more crazed when he attempts to extend his perfect record to 6-0 against the visiting Israeli on February 24th.
“It’s going to make Dublin look silly,” Gallagher told Carroll. “For all the people that will be coming from Strabane, it’s only a quick drive up the road. The trip to Dublin for the 3 Arena takes a lot more organizing and it costs a lot more money. I think this show is going to be the best in terms of atmosphere.”
Another SBG Ireland super-prospect will also get to sample the atmosphere in Belfast. Sinead Kavanagh(4-0), who scored a one-sided decision win over the unfathomably tough Elina Kallionidou at the 3Arena in December, will take on France’s Iony Razafiarison.
Razafiarison, who possesses a pro record of 1-1 with 1 no-contest, has not fought since June of 2015 when she lost to Bryanna Fissori at Bellator 139.
Bellator 173 is headlined by another SBG Ireland fighter, veteran Chris Fields(11-7-1), who makes his promotional debut against former Bellator light-heavyweight champion Liam McGeary.
Like the Dublin event in December, this Belfast show is a collaborative effort between Bellator and British promotion BAMMA.
In the main event of BAMMA 28, which will run immediately before Bellator 173, UFC vets Paul Redmond and Norman Parke will collide in a lightweight contest.
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