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James Gallagher accepted Bellator 196 main event before injured knee was medically cleared

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When James Gallagher got a call about fighting Hungarian star Adam Borics in Budapest in the main event of Bellator 196, he agreed to the fight before he even knew if he would be able to compete on the night.

There was a fear that the SBG featherweight would only be medically cleared to train on the knee after being forced from his first promotional main event, Bellator 187, due to injuries to his LCL and PCL late last year.

“I told Bellator, ‘I want to fight, but I don’t know if the doctors will clear me for it’, so I asked them to put my name down for it and we would wait and see,” Gallagher told MMA Fighting.

“Finally, I got the go ahead to compete from the doctors and then the contract was sent out to me the next day. I signed it and sent it back that night.”

Gallagher worked diligently to rehab the injuries and doctors told him that his approach sped up the recovery significantly.

“The doctors told me the speed of the recovery was down to how hard I worked. It’s very frustrating at times, you have days when your knee is really flared up and it’s hard to get up and do anything. Every time it got like that, I rested,” he explained.

“A lot of people can make the injuries worse because they want to keep working on it, I just listened to my body a lot. I just followed the blueprint the doctors gave me to a tee and now it feels great again.”

Having undergone a series of tests on both knees since regaining full fitness, Gallagher claimed that the knee that was injured tested better than his non-injured knee.

“I’ve done tests since the injury and my bad knee has scored better than my good one. They do five different tests and in every one I scored higher on the knee that was injured than the knee that wasn’t injured. I think there was one test where the non-injured knee scored higher, but it was only a percentage or something.”

Gallagher believes that overcoming his knee injury was a far more difficult task than taking victory over Borics in his backyard.

“He’s very good, he’s a solid fighter and he’s a very athletic fella. Even though a lot of his wins are by submission, he’s fought a lot of K-1 fights. I don’t feel like he will trouble me in any area. I know he is a threat, but it’s nothing that I can’t deal with,” said Gallagher.

“When I think about the knee injury I just overcame, I think of that as a bigger threat than any opponent. After getting through that I know I can get through him, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. I’ll put this guy away towards the end of the first round.”