In his February first-round submission win over Kirill Medvedovski at Bellator 173, featherweight up and comer James Gallagher feels he did a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong.
On the plus side, Gallagher was able to use his aggressiveness to get a first round finish, but at the same time his aggressiveness also cost him a bit in the fight.
“I pressured (Medvedovski) from the bell and went straight at him,” Gallagher told MMAWeekly.com. “I had confidence in my shots and my position on the feet.
“There were a lot of mistakes that I made; I chased him a little bit and some of my shots were wild; but all in all it was a good performance and happy with it. I was also happy with the mistakes that I made so I could go back and work on them.”
At just 20 years old, not only does Gallagher have an opportunity to grow skills-wise as he matures, but physically he has yet to reach his peak potential as well.
“I feel like I’m only getting started, but I feel great and I feel like I can smoke anyone in the division,” said Gallagher. “I am young and I will get better as I go along. I progress every fight and become a different fighter nearly, and I’m looking forward to showing it in my next fight.”
Gallagher (6-0) will make his North American debut on Friday when he takes on Chinzo Machida (5-2) in a main card 145-pound bout at Bellator 180 in New York City.
“I feel he’s very one-dimensional,” Gallagher said of Machida. “He fights in that back and forward straight line. He comes aggressive; he comes forward and pushes the pace. But I’m going to go in there and give him non-stop movement and get him frustrated on the feet.
“I’m going to make him over-commit on the feet, and then I’m going to take him down and get his back and I’m going to choke him.”
Though he’s still young and relatively new to the sport, Gallagher doesn’t feel like the big lights of New York and the aura of Madison Square Garden will get the most of him.
“I’m not coming here for a holiday,” said Gallagher. “I’m here to do a job. There’s nothing else I want to do here in New York. I’m here to do a job and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m taking the first flight home the next day.
“I’ll come on a holiday here some other time, but I’m not coming here to see New York, I’m here to go in there and steal the show and put someone away.”
As for what could be next, Gallagher feels he’s established himself enough to make his way into title contention, hopefully by year’s end.
“A world title (is the next step),” Gallagher said. “I want to be the best in the world. Whatever they put in front of me, I’m going to go through it like it’s not even there.”