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James Gallagher admits knee injury sounded like ‘branch snapping’

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ESTHER LIN/MMAFIGHTING.COM

James Gallagher will find out on Monday whether his knee injury will require surgery or not.

MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani broke the news that Gallagher was forced to withdraw from his main event debut at Bellator 187 on Wednesday, reporting that the Irish featherweight had suffered injuries to his LCL and PCL.

Gallagher claimed that the injury occurred during positional sparring at SBG Concorde.

“I was wrestling, we were doing some positional sparring and a guy got a single leg on me and I was trying to defend it,” Gallagher told MMAFighting.com.

“I was keeping my balance, but when he turned the corner my whole knee snapped. It sounded like a branch snapping, it was the most horrible thing I’ve heard in my life.

“The whole gym just stopped and looked around at me. I just looked at my knee, I was in the maddest pain I’ve ever been in. It’s the worst thing ever. Honestly, it made me feel sick.

“I looked at my knee and it just didn’t look right and it was fully locked out. It was only over the last few days that I could start putting weight on it.”

A Bellator main event debut was thought to be a considerable milestone for Gallagher, and he was confident that he could show a new side to his fighting style at the 3 Arena on Nov. 10.

“I really felt I was going to show a lot in there. I was feeling comfortable in training and I thought I was going to be able show some things that I haven’t been able to before,” he said.

“I was going to make statement in there. This main event was a really big thing and I think it was going to send me off into the stratosphere.

“Now it’s all out the window. It’s funny because the injury happened in the first round of training. I was feeling great and it just went.”

Gallagher’s featherweight rival, A.J. McKee, has been bumped up to the main event where he set to face off against Gallagher’s SBG teammate, Brian Moore.

“The Strabanimal” believes that McKee is only being given top billing in Dublin because of his connection to him. He also thinks that Moore will be the first man to defeat unbeaten McKee.

“I’m delighted for Brian more than anything, but AJ knows that he’s only been bumped up to the main event because of me. I’m the only thing that’s making him relevant,” Gallagher said.

“If it wasn’t for me everyone would be asking, ‘who is he?’ He can’t finish his dinner never mind a fight.

“I think Brian is going to go in there and knock him out. Bellator are really underestimating Brian. They’re throwing AJ to the big dogs for the first time.

“The pressure Brian brings is just going to be too much. AJ doesn’t have balls. He’ll break under the pressure and Brian will finish him. He will crumble very quickly.”

As far as his recovery is concerned, Gallagher will find out how severe the injury is on Monday and hopes to return to action in March.

“The way the doctor explained it to me was, it doesn’t take long for the LCL to heal, but that has to heal before the PCL can heal itself. So I’ll wait for the LCL to heal, but then the PCL can take the longest.

“If I don’t need surgery, I reckon I’ll be back in the gym this side of Christmas. If I need surgery, I’ll probably be out until March or something like that.

“I’m going to take my time with it, you can’t rush with things like this. Even if things go better than expected I’ll take that extra time. Then when Bellator comes back, it will be ‘The Jimmy Show’ all over again.”