'Strabanimal' to headline Dublin event

BELLATOR is set to return to Dublin on Saturday, February 23, with Strabane’s own James ‘the Strabanimal’ Gallagher set to headline in the main event.

Gallagher (7-1) will be looking to defend his home turf against Steven Graham (6-3) in the bantamweight main event of Bellator: Gallagher vs. Graham at 3Arena.

The local lad is busy readying himself for his highly anticipated return to Dublin on where he will look to start his 2019 campaign off with a bang.

Fighting out of Strabane, ‘The Strabanimal’ hopes to notch his eighth career win and fifth since joining Bellator two years ago.

With seven victories and six finishes over a three-year stint, the Straight Blast Gym (SBG) product is undoubtedly one of the brightest young stars in the MMA world.

With impressive finishes over Chinzo Machida and Anthony Taylor, Gallagher hopes to duplicate that same success inside Dublin’s 3Arena in front of the Irish faithful.

Gallagher, 22, will look to rebound in a big way in front of his home crowd. An SBG Ireland teammate of UFC star Conor McGregor, Gallagher suffered the first loss of his career in August at Bellator 204, where he was beaten by Ricky Bandejas.

Afterward, Gallagher was the target of heavy criticism on social media, which he seemingly took in stride.

Gallagher teased his return two weeks ago on Instagram and promised he was “coming to make a statement.”

Fighting out of Kansas City, Steven ‘Golden’ Graham enters the bout riding an impressive five-fight winning streak that dates back to March of 2017 in Shamrock FC.

The 27-year-old bantamweight Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt is known for his gritty style and consistent pressure inside the cage, where each of his six wins have concluded with a finish, including five in the opening round.

A product of American Top Team KC under veteran Jason High in Lenexa, Kansas, Graham hopes to add to his recent success when he squares off against fan-favourite Gallagher inside the Bellator cage.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public today (Wednesday) and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.ie and Bellator.com, as well as the 3Arena box office.

The event will be broadcast free on Paramount Network at 9pm, ET/8 pm CT, as well as DAZN.com, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and globally on the Bellator Mobile App.

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