James Gallagher is planning on becoming a two-weight world champion.
The 20-year-old rising Bellator prospect revealed his ambitious plans of capturing the bantamweight title, and then moving back up to get the featherweight belt, last month after his submission win over Chinzo Machida at Bellator 180. The unbeaten Irishman will be beginning his quest in search for bantamweight gold on Nov. 10 in his home country. Gallagher will compete in a co-promoted event between Bellator and BAMMA against an opponent that’s yet to be determined.
If Gallagher plans to on being a two-weight world champion – much like his SGB Ireland teammate Conor McGregor – he’ll probably run into a man that knows a thing or two about holding Bellator titles in different weight classes. Of course, we’re talking about “The Baddest Man On The Planet”, former Bellator featherweight and bantamweight champion Joe Warren.
The Greco-Roman wrestling standout believes the young Gallagher might be getting ahead of himself, and although he’s not writing him off, Warren would like to see Gallagher face legit competition before talking about capturing world titles.
“Good luck [with title run at bantamweight], he does a lot of talking with his mouth,” Warren told MMA Fighting. “If you’re going to talk a lot of shit, you better back it up. He’s been doing a great job though, I’m not taking that from him. He’s been winning fights, but not world championship level fights. He’s not beating former world title holders, you understand. He’s beaten old veterans that are done with fighting.
“If he wants to talk shit about my age or something like that, just be ready for this old man to come around the corner and beat your ass. Those young guys, their mouth only goes so far, but let’s put him with a solid competitor and see what happens. Because if he were with ‘The Baddest Man,’ I’ll break his damn jaw so he won’t be talking anymore.”
The 40-year-old veteran is no stranger to defeating prospects, having dominated 25-year-old Steve Garcia in his last outing at Bellator 181. Yet, Warren is not in any way worked up about Gallagher’s drop to 135 pounds, and doesn’t see himself fighting the Irish prospect any time soon. Warren has more important things in his mind – getting his title back, while completing the trilogy fight with long-time rival and current champ Eduardo Dantas.
“I’ve beat the featherweight champ, I’ve beat the bantamweight champ, I’m not really worried about some punk kid talking shit,” Warren explained. “I’m worried about my opportunity to get my belt back. He’s [Gallagher] the last thing on my radar, I couldn’t give two shits about this kid. I hope he keeps winning, personally, but he better watch his mouth.”