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James Gallagher no-sells Bellator 258 callouts: ‘I want the f*cking belt’

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Despite being scratched from Bellator 258 lineup due to a shoulder injury, James Gallagher’s presence at Mohegan Sun Arena caught the attention of multiple fighters.

Gallagher was scheduled to face Patchy Mix at Friday night’s event before suffering the injury. The SBG Ireland product told MMA Fighting on Friday that the partial tear in his shoulder isn’t healing as quickly as he had hoped and plans to fly out to Los Angeles next week to see a specialist for a hopeful return in July.

“The Strabanimal” has no shortage of options as he was called out multiple times during the fight card. Johnny Campbell—fresh off his upset win over Henry Corrales—first called for Gallagher, followed by Mix, who earned a submission win over Albert Morales, and then Raufeon Stots mentioned Gallagher as an option after his dominant decision win over Josh Hill.

“They’re all saying they’re going to bring me home in bodybags,” Gallagher told MMA Fighting on Friday night. “I’ve seen them at breakfast every day and they’re all just walking past me with their mouths shut. I’m here, man. You want to send me home in a bodybag? Put me in it. I’m home. I’m not going nowhere.”

Mix told reporters following his win over Morales that Gallagher had sent him upwards of 40 direct messages on social media during fight week. Mix bounced back from his loss to Juan Archuleta for the vacant bantamweight title and believed a July rebooking with Gallagher made perfect sense.

Despite Mix getting a stoppage win, Gallagher wasn’t impressed.

“I think it was one of his worst performances,” Gallagher said. “He got the win. Good for him, respect to that but I offered to pay him just to wait. I offered to pay him his show money just to wait until the end of July to fight me and he turned it down and took this fight. It’s fair enough, I’m not saying anything further, but I’m just telling everybody to let the gesture be known.

“Then he says I’m running? Why would I offer to pay you $35,000—which is your show money—out of my own pocket asking you to wait a few weeks? That’s how much I wanted this fight. That’s how much I want to punch him out and beat him.”

While Gallagher is the man everyone at 135 seems to want to fight right now, he’s happy to be the hunted in one of the sport’s deepest divisions. With a wide array of potential foes when he is ready to return to action, Gallagher could see himself jumping the queue all together and fighting for the title, now held by Sergio Pettis.

“Everybody wants to fight me,” Gallagher explained. “Juan Archuleta wants to fight me and he’s the [former] champion. Much respect, he’s a real one. Patchy ain’t real like that. I know that for a fact and that was shown in his performance.

“We’ll see what’s what but I think I’ll just be fighting for the belt next. They all want me. The whole card, every one of them want me. I don’t want any of them, I want the f*cking belt. That’s where I’m going so let’s do it. Whatever happens, I’m gonna fight them all eventually. Every one of them, one by one. I’m making bread and when I’m fighting these boys, they’re all easy fights. Why would I run? What the f*ck? If I’m gonna run anywhere I’m running straight for your head.

“That’s it, i’m just focused on me and I’m doing the exact same as what everyone in this promotion is doing, and that’s focusing on me.”