James Gallagher, the talented 19-year old fighter representing KHK MMA team (1-0-0 Pro and 8-0-0 Amateur record since joining Coach John Kavanagh), is on the brink of making a big move in his MMA career. On the 5th of December, Gallagher will mark his second professional fight at the Chaos 15 Fight Championship at Derry, Ireland when he faces Decky McAleenan (6-1-0) from Ireland.
James was the first to join the newly opened local MMA club when he was 13, he never looked back since then. He is enjoying his work and manifesting a real thirst for his chosen occupation, doing his first steps as a professional fighter.
“16-year-old PHENOM James Gallagher, moved from home to train full-time!! This kid’s a future star!!” – Conor McGregor, UFC Interim Featherweight Champion, 2013
James works with leading Irish coach John Kavanagh who also coaches the MMA sensation Conor McGregor and has an excellent support team from top class trainers to recovery programs between fights. To James, family is the main inspiration in life, the people for whom he is ready to deal.
“I have no doubt he (James) will have the UFC title.” – John Kavanagh, Head Coach.
We had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview from his busy schedule.
James, you joined KHK MMA team at the beginning of 2015. What do you think about it after almost a year?
The support that his Highness Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Khalifa is offering is incomparable, and I believe that such support and empowerment is what helps to unleash the greatness that resides in good fighters. I am fortunate and grateful for such an opportunity and really happy to be able to be a part of KHK MMA.
What does it mean for you to be a fighter?
It means everything to me. It’s all I do. I feel it’s what makes me as a person and I love it.
If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?
I think Georges St-Pierre. He did all his movements so correct in his day. However, I still think I would choke him in the first round (laughs)
What Drawbacks do you see in Decky McLeenan’s game?
He’s very straightforward. Moves in straight lines, chin in the air, has two shots in his game. He’s not even close to my level on the feet, wrestling or the ground. But they won’t realize that until it’s too late.
What’s your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?
My favorite strike is either a straight left hand or a spinning hook kick and my favorite submission is a rear neck choke. But generally I like to do what it takes to win. If I have to go and crack them on the chin to put them away or take them to the ground and submit them I am happy as long as I’m winning.
James has his own way of thinking and the way how he is going through things. This differentiates him from any other fighter, and makes him extremely successful and unique.
“This kid is one of the new breed of MMA fighters, he masters exceptional moves and a unique form. His first fight was a great example of what he can bring to the table. He has a great potential to be the next Conor McGregor. I think Decky -his opponent- will have a problem with James’s timing of transition and unconventional way of strikes which will make it another big night for James. We are totally excited for this fight”. Said Mohammed Shahid, Managing Director of the KHK MMA.