Sports

'Strabanimal' set for New York fight night

Thursday, 30 March 2017

'Strabanimal' set for New York fight night thumbnail Strabane MMA rising star, James Gallagher, will face Chinzo Machida on the undercard of the upcoming Bellator 180 in Madison Square Garden in New York.

STRABANE MMA rising star, James Gallagher, will face Chinzo Machida on the undercard of the upcoming Bellator 180 in Madison Square Garden in New York.

Bellator MMA president, Scott Coker, confirmed the news during an interview on The MMA Hour on Monday.

Chinzo (5-2) is the older brother of former UFC heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, and has won his last four bouts including finishes of Jamar Ocampo, Mario Navarro and Brian Wood.

Twenty-year-old Gallagher (6-0) has finished five of his six professional bouts with submissions, and blitzed through Israeli Kirill Medvedovsky in his last outing back in February at Bellator 173 in Belfast. Before that, the 'Strabanimal' picked up previous victories inside the Bellator cage, defeating Mike Cutting via unanimous decision, then submitting Anthony Taylor in Dublin at Bellator 169 in Dublin.

Fan favourite Gallagher announced the news on his Instagram page, relating to his journey from "St Pat's Hall" in Strabane to Madison Square Garden, one of the most prestigious venues in the world.

"The Strabanimal is coming to steal the show at 'the garden' NYC. 20 years old, fighting in the biggest fight venue in the world. I'm honoured to be able to represent my country, my team and my town of Strabane on the biggest show in the world. I'm coming here to steal the show. Thank you to my family and coaches and Bellator! The Irish are coming to New York!"

Bellator 180 will take place on June 24. It is set to be the biggest fight night in Bellator's history, with Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva headlining the card, and Fedor Emelianenko's rescheduled bout with Matt Mitrione the co-main event.

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