James Gallagher has spent nearly four years competing in the UFC, but that time would’ve been cut in half if the UFC had their way.
The fighter claims that the UFC offered him a contract shortly after Gallagher was defeated by Ricky Bandejas at Bellator 204 in August of 2018.
“They came in after the Ricky fight and were like, ‘We’re going to make you a big star,’” Gallagher said on the Eurobash podcast (via Peter Carroll of MMA Fighting). “I just got a voice note sent to me by my management; it was from the matchmaker for the UFC. He sent it over and it was a big 15-minute voice note. It was kind of like, ‘We want to do this,’ and, ‘We can see the potential,’ and they’re going to do this and they were going to do that.”
Not only has Gallagher stayed with Bellator MMA, but the fighter has gone undefeated since that loss to Bandejas at Bellator 204.
Gallagher says that the reason he stayed with Bellator MMA was that they offered a better deal than the UFC.
“Then, the contract Bellator offered me after the Steven Graham fight, it was the main event in Dublin, after that I was sorted. Well, I wasn’t sorted, but there wasn’t any other way that I was going. The contract wasn’t even up and they put this on the table, like, ‘Do you want that?’ and I was like, ‘F*cking right I do.’ No one was offering any better than that and I don’t think anyone will for a while,” says Gallagher.
There is no word yet on when Gallagher will fight again, as his bout against Cal Ellenor at Bellator London was postponed due to the coronavirus.