Image source: James Gallagher Instagram (@strabanimalmma)
Bellator’s Irish star, James Gallagher has confirmed that he was approached by the UFC but rejected the top promotion to resign with Bellator.
Gallagher spoke to the Eurobash podcast and confirmed that the UFC approached him following his sole career defeat to Ricky Bandejas. However, after the offer from the UFC was presented, Bellator approached the “The Strabanimal” with an offer to main event in Dublin which was an offer the Irishman couldn’t refuse.
“They came in after the Ricky fight and were like, ‘We’re going to make you a big star.’ I just got a voice note sent to me by my management; it was from the matchmaker for the UFC. He sent it over and it was a big fucking 15-minute voice note. It was kind of like, ‘We want to do this, and we see the potential’ and they’re going to do this, and they were going to do that.
Then, the contract Bellator offered me after the Steven Graham fight, it was the main event in Dublin, after that I was sorted. Well not sorted but there wasn’t any other way that I was going. The contract wasn’t even up, and they put this on the table, like, ‘Do you want that?’ and I was like, ‘Fucking right I do.’ No one was offering any better than that and I don’t think anyone will for a while.”
Gallagher is more than confident that sticking with Bellator was the correct decision for his career. The Irishman had a vision in his head, and he wasn’t going to let the loss to Bandejas, or the big UFC name stray him from his path.
“It’s a times like this that you’ve got to be smart about your career. People would’ve just jumped at that coming off a loss. Doubt themselves, not believe in themselves and then the UFC, just because it’s a big name, they’d jump on it.
I was at rock bottom there, but I still had that vision in my head. I knew what was what. I knew what I was capable of, and I knew where I was able to go, I seen the star power I had. That’s what you have to keep always in your head. You have to see that vision and don’t get complacent. When you’re feeling good, but also don’t get complacent when you’re feeling down. Don’t doubt yourself in bad times and just see it for how it is and that’s something I feel I’ve been very good at.”