James Gallagher: “My next fight is Stateside, then I’m going to fight for the world title.”

On Tuesday Bellator made the announcement that they are to hold a light-heavyweight grand prix starting in April. After that announcement, James Gallagher sat down with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell of Morning Kombat at the press event to detail where he is at when it comes to training, and how close he is to stepping back into the Bellator cage.

Gallagher is currently training in Kansas City with James Krause in the Glory MMA gym. The Strabane man spoke about how that move came about and how he is progressing in the gym.

“I’ve been friends with James (Krause) for a while now”, said Gallagher. “I met him through my nutritionist, Tyler Mitten, he put us into contact and we have been speaking for a long time. He [Krause] was always asking me to go over to train there, I just took him up on his offer so I just went over there and got stuck in.”

Just because he is spending time over with Jame Krause, that doesn’t mean the bantamweight has forgotten his roots at SBG.

“I’m still with John, John is still my coach. I’m just over in Kansas to train with James so that I can learn from the best. I’ve got John back home and I’ve got James, who is one of the best MMA coaches in the world at the minute. That means I’ve got the two best coaches in the world helping me right now.

Gallagher went on to speak about what changes he has brought to his game since travelling over to the Glory MMA gym.

“We’ve worked a lot on blending in everything together, that’s a big aspect of this sport to focus on. Putting everything together and then going on to repeat those movements, which is called recycling. It’s about doing that over and over and over again to just beat it into your head. That leads to your reactions, your combinations after those reactions just come as instinct.

Gallagher also spoke about how he has bounced back after his first professional defeat from the hands of Ricky Bandejas, and the backlash from the fans that came with that defeat.

“It [the loss] wasn’t that bad, everyone tried to pity me and give me excuses, everyone wanted me to have an excuse. Everybody is telling me to be something else, they were saying to me, ”you’re trying to be somebody else, you’re not trying to be yourself”.

[I say to those people] “I am trying to be myself, you’re just trying to get me to be the person that you want me to be.”

Juan Archuleta is set to defend his 135 pound title against Sergio Pettis, Gallagher gave his thoughts on how that fight might play out.

“I think Juan is going to win, he is just too complete of a fighter, he is very methodical the way he approaches his fights. I think that will play a factor into the fight because I don’t think Sergio is as methodical in his approach to his fights. He’s a bit more wild, he kind of fights with a bit more emotion rather that intent and I feel that that will be the difference in this fight.”

It’s clear that Gallagher is hungry for action, he said he is ready to go this minute and there may be a fight announcement on the horizon. When asked where he would like to be in a years time, he had a clear picture in his head.

“I would like to be sitting here with a nice big belt on my shoulder, 100 percent. The goal is a title shot this year. My next fight is Stateside, then I’m going to fight for the world title, once I win my next fight.”

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.