Patchy Mix has never been a fan of James Gallagher but in the days leading up to their fight at Bellator 270, his opinion on the Irish bantamweight has somehow gotten even lower.
Despite the fight being just days away, Mix says that Gallagher has been doing everything possible to get under his skin including run-ins since he arrived in Ireland as well as numerous exchanges on social media.
“Personally, I don’t even know the kid,” Mix said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “But what bugs me, he’s been coming up trying to get in my face all week, sending me DM’s, just talking sh*t, posting my picture on the internet.
“Basically, just being a mean girl or a diva. He’s like a woman. Nothing particularly to say. It’s just a lot of things. He basically just acts like a b*tch and that’s what bothers me about him.”
As much as Gallagher might be playing mind games ahead of the event on Friday in Ireland, Mix admits the biggest issue he has with his upcoming opponent comes down to hype versus reality.
While Gallagher has been touted as one of the fastest rising stars on the entire Bellator roster, Mix is quick to point towards his overall resume as proof that he hasn’t actually proven himself inside the cage.
“He has no wins that are even remotely good,” Mix said. “To be honest with you, I didn’t even think he should get the opportunity to fight a guy like me but I embrace it. Cause I don’t mind kicking his ass for money. Cause I think he’s a lot easier than the other fights they were going to give me.
“I just want to steal the name. Aside for the name, he don’t really have much. Just look at his opponents. It’s almost pathetic. But now he’s got to fight me. He’s right in my scope. He’s right in my bullseye. Friday night, I pull that trigger and I go straight business. I’m going to go finish him. He just deserves an ass whooping so I’m glad to be the one to do it.”
Prior to the booking at Bellator 270, Mix was originally scheduled to face Gallagher back in May but the fight fell apart in the weeks leading up to the event.
Gallagher later said that he suffered a shoulder injury, which prevented him from competing earlier this year, although Mix isn’t sure he really buys that excuse.
“I think he was forced to [take the fight],” Mix explained. “He pulled out of the [previous] fight for absolutely no reason. Is there any reason? Has anyone found one? Has anyone seen an injury? There’s no reason he pulled out of the fight. He was at the fight. He cornered a guy there and he basically pulled out of the fight and didn’t even have a reason.
“I think he’s f*cking deathly afraid of me and now he has to save face. He wanted every advantage possible. He wanted me to lose to Albert Morales. I don’t think he was ever planning to fight me the last time. He was always planning on pulling out and then I was going to get a harder fight. He just made jump through hoops, hoping I’d lose because he didn’t want the fight.”
On paper, the bantamweights are both talented grapplers and Mix believes that’s probably part of the reason why Gallagher was ultimately willing to face him because “The Strabanimal” truly believes he’s the superior fighter on the ground.
If that’s the case, Mix welcomes Gallagher to challenge him on the ground because he promises a rude awakening for the former Team SBG fighter, who now calls Glory MMA and Fitness in the U.S. his primary training home.
“I think he’s looking at the division like ‘I can go with Patchy because he’s good on the ground but so am I’ but I’m levels ahead of him on the ground,” Mix said. “He’s not even on my level in any facet of MMA, at all. I can’t wait to show his ass.
“He’s going to be way more shocked than when he fought [Ricky] Bandejas. I’m way stronger than him. I’m going to put his ass down right away.”
Thanks to the animosity between them, Mix obviously sounds emotionally charged heading into the fight, which can be a recipe for a disaster for some athletes.
Mix would argue that whatever disdain he feels towards Gallagher will only serve as extra motivation to punish and ultimately embarrass his opponent in front of his hometown fans in Dublin.
“Personally, I feel I’m levels ahead of him,” Mix said. “The fight could shorter than his walkout. To be real with you, I want to gut him out. I want to slowly beat him. Slowly take the energy out of him. Pass his guard, Let him get out, let him get up just so I can put him back down again.
“I want to fight him like Islam Makhachev fights, like Khabib [Nurmagomedov] fights. I want to fight him like that. Just make him remember my name for the rest of his life. I want him to break. I want him to quit. I want him to quit before he taps so I can just posture up over him and give him hell.”
The only thing Mix is thinking about right now is laying waste to Gallagher on Friday but a win would almost certainly position him for another shot at the Bellator bantamweight title.
While that’s not necessarily on his mind, Mix knows dismantling Gallagher should be the golden ticket back to the top of the division where reigning champion Sergio Pettis is preparing for a fight against Kyoji Horiguchi in December.
“I’m hoping to [get the winner] but you never know with politics and how it plays,” Mix said. “Of course, I don’t have the following that maybe [James Gallagher] does or other guys do but if James were to win, they would give him the shot so I’m hoping I would get it as well. It’s fair justice.
“I’m going to be watching the fight. I’m going to be all alone in a dark room by myself watching it with a notepad, writing down every single thing I think I can exploit on those guys. This time I’m coming for that belt. Last time I came up short but now I’m ready to [stake] my claim.”