Learn more about this rising star as Bellator makes a trip to his
home country of Ireland.
1. Liddell-Ortiz was his first serving of the UFC.
Gallagher had his first taste of live mixed martial arts
competition in Derry, a city that lies on the River Foyle in
Northern Ireland. Then for Christmas of that year, he got his first
UFC DVD, which featured a main event between Chuck
Liddell and Tito Ortiz. He
watched the entire DVD that night and was completely blown away
from all the action. Needless to say, he was hooked. Gallagher has
been training in the sport since he was 12.
2. A judge refused to do his job upon learning that Gallagher
Gallagher entered his first amateur fight when he was only 13. In
less than one minute, he tapped out his opponent, who was a few
years older. That same year, he had his second fight, and he was
pitted against a 21-year-old guy. One of the judges that night was
SBG head coach John
Kavanagh, who wanted nothing to do with a fight that pitted a
boy against a full-grown man. For the record, Gallagher beat his
opponent by decision. He and Kavanagh got to talking, and the rest
3. He convinced his parents to let him drop out of school.
When he was 15, Gallagher asked his parents if he can stop school
and focus on MMA. Naturally, they refused. However, Gallagher
thought of a compromise. He promised his folks that he will put
every ounce of dedication his has to training, and if they ever see
him slack off, he’d willingly return to school. He added that he
can always go back and get a degree even if he’s 30 anyway. This
time, his parents were convinced and gave him their full support,
even funding his training.
4. He submission savvy back in the day.
It’s hard to believe, but when Gallagher was starting out he didn’t
look much like the submission specialist that he is now. Sure, he
won by armbar in just 58 seconds in his amateur debut, but that’s
about it. According to him, it was probably the only submission
technique he knew (along with one takedown) at the time. That’s a
far cry from “The Strabanimal” we know today, whose seven victories
in eight fights all came by submission.
5. He’s only the second Irish fighter to win at MSG.
His more popular teammate, Conor
McGregor, delivered big time in UFC’s New York City debut at
the legendary Madison Square Garden. Gallagher refuses to be left
behind, though. In his first fight on United States soil, the pride
of Northern Ireland competed at Bellator 180, where he stopped
Machida in the first round.