IT took Strabane MMA star James Gallagher less than three minutes to secure victory over Israel’s Kirill Medvedovsky in Belfast on Friday night.
Ahead of the showdown at the SSE Arena the ‘Strabanimal’ had predicted a first round win by way of choke. And he was true to his word, first landing some decent punches on his opponent before taking him to the canvas and forcing the tap out.
With a style more technical than any of Gallagher’s previous opponents, it had been predicted the Israeli could possibly pose the 20-year-old some problems.
That was far from the case though, with the victorious Strabane man able to launch himself over the octagon in celebration both unscathed and barely out of breath.
In his post-fight interview, Gallagher wasted no time in calling out his opponent, the American AJ McKee. Like the Strabanimal, McKee has a built up an impressive unbeaten record since making his professional debut in 2015.
The pair have been trading verbals on social media for several months and the prospect of the two men finally meeting will have MMA fans across the world rubbing their hands.
Throwing down the challenge to the 21-year-old American, Gallagher goaded, “AJ McKee you’re next, London, May 19. I’m going to strangle you. You come here and I’ll show you who is real – I’m real and you are getting done in one.”
McKee, who was clearly watching Friday night’s bout, quickly hit back, “Sign the contract so I can get away with legally murdering you in that cage little man.”
With Gallagher already well on the way to being MMA’s new poster boy and having drawn sell out crowds to his last two shows in Dublin and Belfast, the encounter with McKee looks to be a no brainer for Bellator.
After disposing of Medvedovsky on Friday night, Gallagher also sent out a second and somewhat gentler message, this time to his mum Doreen who was in the audience to see her boy win.
James Gallagher told a packed house, “I’d like to say a big happy birthday to my mother whose birthday it is on Sunday. She’s with me every step of the way and I wouldn’t be here without her.”