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Bellator 217 Preview: James Gallagher Headlines Bellator’s Return To Dublin

Can James Gallagher bounce back this weekend?
Can James Gallagher bounce back this weekend?

Bellator continues its foray into European territory with a return to the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland this Saturday.

James Gallagher looks to bounce back from his first taste of defeat inside the cage, with a bout with Bellator newcomer Steven Graham topping the bill in the Irish capital. Gallagher held an unblemished 7-0 record until August last year, where the youngster fell to a devastating knockout to Ricky Bandejas.

After recently turning twenty-two, the SBG Ireland stablemate of Conor McGregor still has a lot to learn and a bright future ahead of him under the Bellator banner. The Irishman has finished six of his seven victories by way of submission, including four by rear-naked choke. This marks the first time that the popular bantamweight has headlined a Bellator event.

Steven Graham steps in to enemy territory with relatively unknown quantity having previously competed in more local shows across the state of Missouri. After completing a 7-2 amateur career, Graham’s start to professional life saw him slide to a 1-3 within the first two years. He has since won five on the bounce, all inside the distance to earn a huge opportunity against Gallagher.

Gallagher will hope a victory can push him further into consideration for the rumoured Bellator featherweight grand prix, with a prize fund of $1 million. Graham has nothing to lose, with the odds firmly stacked against the American.

The co-main event is a domestic lightweight match up between Peter Queally and Myles Price. On the face of it, it doesn’t sound like there would be a huge backstory that has led to this fight… but almost five years on, it will finally go down!

Peter Queally has been a longstanding fighter and coach within the SBG Ireland gym under John Kavanagh. Myles Price was formally a teammate, alongside Queally and former UFC two-weight world champion Conor McGregor.

Price decided to go his separate ways from SBG and join fellow Irish gym Team Ryano.  However, Price then looked to further his education and went to train at AKA in America, the home of Khabib Nurmagomedov. Myles Price trained alongside Nurmagomedov in the build-up to UFC 229, where the Russian submitted McGregor in the fourth round.

Queally labelled Myles Price a ‘rat’ to Sky Sports in the build-up to this fight and didn’t stop there…

“Ireland’s greatest sportsman was preparing for the biggest moment of his career. And this guy… an Irishman, former team-mate spent his own money to travel 5,000 miles to help his opponent. You tell me what that is? It’s a rat, we call that in Ireland” – Peter Queally to Sky Sports.

Inside the cage, Queally is expected to hold an advantage over Price having spent the last four fights competing in Russian promotion Fight Nights Global. Only one of Queally’s sixteen professional fights have ended inside the distance, so expect this one to head to the judges’ scorecards.

Price has competed with a number of names, including UFC veterans Norman Parke and Colin Fletcher but lacks a career-defining moment so far. Price has amassed sixty-five minutes inside the cage in his seventeen fights, whilst Queally has almost quadrupled that with nearly 240 minutes of cage time in just sixteen fights.

Can Queally garner some revenge for his SBG teammate? Or will Myles Price upset the odds?

Bellator 217 is live on Saturday evening on Sky Sports Action from 9PM in the UK & Ireland.

Full Fight Card

Main Card (Sky Sports Action from 9PM)

  • James Gallagher vs. Steven Graham
  • Peter Queally vs. Myles Price
  • Richie Smullen vs. Adam Gustab
  • Charlie Ward vs. Jamie Stephenson

Prelims

  • Paul Redmond vs. Charlie Leary
  • Kiefer Crosbie vs. Daniel Olejniczak
  • Will Fleury vs. Shaun Taylor
  • Ryan Curtis vs. Luis Gonzalez
  • Walter Gahadza vs. Ruben Crawford
  • Sam Slater vs. Chris Duncan
  • Richard Kiely vs. Mickael Bucher
  • Leah McCourt vs. Hatice Ozyurt
  • John Redmond vs. George Tokkos
  • Dylan Logan vs. Andrew Murphy
  • Iony Razafiarison vs. Olga Rubin
  • Daniele Scatizzi vs. Alfie Davis
  • Ian Cleary vs. George Courtney
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