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James Gallagher set for bantamweight debut on Nov. 10 in Dublin

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The Irishman says he wants to win the belt at bantamweight before challenging for the featherweight title.

ESTHER LIN/MMAFIGHTING.COM

James Gallagher has revealed that he will make his bantamweight debut on Nov. 10 at Dublin’s 3 Arena. It will be the third co-promoted event between Bellator and BAMMA.

The event was announced Friday night during BAMMA 30 at the 3 Arena.

Gallagher has been hinting at dropping down from featherweight even since his emphatic first-round submission win over Chinzo Machida at Bellator 180.

Speaking at BAMMA 30 on Friday night, Gallagher insisted that his choice to drop down to a lighter weight class was based on his championship aspirations.

“I’m going to 135 because I want the belt,” Gallagher told MMAFighting.com.

“I’ll have a few fights there. I expect it to be pretty easy. I feel like I can wipe them all out and then go back up to featherweight and take that belt.”

With no significant weight cut necessary for Gallagher to hit the scales at 145 pounds, he is not considered to be a big featherweight. However, the unbeaten 20-year-old maintained that there was no physical reasoning behind his move to bantamweight.

“There are different things to take into account in both divisions. When the opponents are bigger, they’re going to be a lot slower, so you can use your speed in those kinds of fights,” he explained.

“I really don’t feel like it matters what weight I fight at. I feel like I’m going to beat them all. It’s all about skill set for me, size doesn’t matter one bit.

“This is purely a move to get belts. I know I can fight at featherweight. I’ve fought as high as lightweight. I fought Matt Mullen at lightweight, he was coming down from welterweight at the time. I have never been overpowered, so the weight doesn’t matter to me. The belts do, though.”

Reflecting on his showcase outing against Machida at Madison Square Garden, the SBG fighter feels that he is capable of achieving even bigger feats in the future after rising to the occasion at the historic venue.

“It was a special moment for me. I took it all onboard. Just after the win, John (Kavanagh) came over to me and put his arm around me and he walked me around the cage.

“He said, ‘Look around at this. You’re 20-years-old and you just beat a Machida in Madison Square Garden’.

“So, after that, I made sure I soaked it all in. I’ll have that moment with me for the rest of my life. Just looking at the crowd of thousands singing, ‘Ole, Ole, Ole’, it was unbelievable.

“I know that feeling now, and I know I’m capable of even bigger things in the future.”