James Gallagher spoke out after his first loss to Ricky Bandejas at Bellator 204 on Friday night.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, Gallagher wasn’t afraid to hold his hands up and admit that he was beaten by the better man.
“I take this loss on the chin”, began Gallagher. “I’m proud of myself. I put everything out on the line and he caught me”.
Many fighters and fans took to social media following the fight to gloat about the manner in Gallagher’s first defeat.
“People are glad I got beat. If I had won, they would have been criticising me for something else. I don’t give a fuck to be honest with you.”
The Irishman was full of praise for Bandejas after his victory but also admitted that his game plan was all wrong.
“My mentality wasn’t right in the fight. Whatever about the build up, that’s different. He thought me something about myself. I’ll come back from this”.
On his opponent:
“Bandejas did well. He caught me with a 1-2. After that I didn’t remember anything. I didn’t even know I ate a kick until I saw the video afterwards. He has every right to be happy with his win and I don’t blame him for celebrating the way he did”
The 21 year old suffered his first defeat since he was 15 and admitted to Helwani that he had never been knocked out prior to the fight on Friday night.
“I hated it. I won’t lie, I went back to the changing room and cried my eyes out. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’ve watched the fight back several times and I have work to do”
The Strabane native was upbeat in his interview and believes that this loss will only make him more popular.
“I guarantee you that there’ll be more people watching me in my next fight to see how I do”.
Gallagher also teased the possibility of a rematch.
“I asked for a rematch with Bandejas. I feel I can beat him. They (Bellator) said they’re working on something for Dublin but we’ll see”
Team mate Conor McGregor also reached out to Gallagher after the defeat.
“He told me exactly what went wrong. He told me I went out looking for a scrap and a scrap is what I got. I wasn’t smart in the fight.”
There was certainly a lot of intrigue with James Gallagher prior to Friday’s loss but there will certainly be a big interest in what happens next in this chapter for the young fighter.