James Gallagher vs Cal Ellenor: War of words intensifies ahead of Bellator showdown

Brian Barry

Thursday 12 December 2019 19:20, UK

Things got heated at the Bellator Dublin press conference as James Gallagher and Cal Ellenor hurled insults at each other

James Gallagher has shown time and time again that he's not the shy, retiring type. As he prepares to headline another sold-out Bellator card in Dublin, he's preparing to make real strides through the promotion.

"It's the Jimmy Show," he boasted at Wednesday's press conference two months out from the 3Arena fight night.

"I'm a 23-year-old veteran in this game.

"I've been fighting since I've been 13 years old. I'm used to this. I've always had big hype around me.

"Everyone was always talking about me, and there's a reason for that."

James Gallagher submitted Roman Salazar with a guillotine in round one 2:35
Gallagher recorded a comprehensive victory in his last fight in September

After a run of three consecutive facile wins which put his sole career loss firmly in the rear-view mirror, he comes up against highly-rated Cal Ellenor.

However, the 'Strabanimal' doesn't see it going any differently to his previous fights.

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"I've got Cal to stand up against, and I'm going to run through [him]," he vowed.

"My game-plan is to cave his head in.

"I did it in ten days' notice the last time [against Roman Salazar]. I've got 10 weeks for him (Ellenor)! I finished the last guy, with ten days notice, I finished him in 35 seconds.

"The people are coming to see me. No matter who's across that cage from me, it doesn't matter.

"Name one other fighter that can do that. Not one. None of them. Not even any of the champions can sell over 10,000 tickets.

"I'm a rock solid martial artist.

"He's not going to be able to deal with my pressure."

My game-plan is to cave his head in.
Gallagher didn't beat around the bush

For his part, Ellenor didn't back down.

"I can't wait. It's a massive opportunity for me, but all the pressure is on him," he grinned, speaking exclusively to Sky Sports.

"They think I'm one of the people he usually fights - a nobody. They're all going to get a shock. I'm not coming here to lose. I'm coming here to put him away.

"I want to finish him, I'll take chances in there. I will get the job done, 100 per cent."

James Gallagher
Image: Ellenor has vowed to upset the Tyrone native

Indeed, the pair were mooted to fight in September before the Englishman was forced to pull out in the 11th hour, being replaced by Salazar.

Nonetheless, he made the trip to Dublin to the 3Arena to view the event, confident that his path would soon cross with that of the brash Irishman.

"I flew over to watch him," Ellenor explained.

"I wanted to come over and experience that kind of atmosphere and see how the fight went. It was kind of a gifted win for James like many that he's had.

"But I was happy it went that way. If it had been a tough fight, they wouldn't have let me fight him. They would have given him other cannon-fodder. So I'm glad he had an easy win to give me a chance to fight him again.

"He's someone who I've always believed that I'll beat and someone who's getting more attention and more money instead of me.

"I've watched him for a long time and I've wanted to fight him for a long time, so it's a great opportunity to actually get my hands on him."

James Gallagher
Image: Gallagher recorded a comprehensive victory over Salazar last time out

And Ellenor knows that an upset victory would catapult him to the next level:

"If I beat him, It's my opportunity to become mainstream, well-known all over the world. Just off a relatively winnable fight. It's not like a lot of the people in this division I could fight."

The back-and-forth continued at the top table, with the cameras facing the pair.

"Anyone at 135lb, I can beat them," boasted Ellenor, before Gallagher interrupted: "Not me."

"I'm the superstar. No one knows you," jibed the SBG youngster. "For now," countered his opponent.

Don't expect the trash-talk to cool before the duo throw down in the cage on February 22, when they'll stop trading insults and trade blows instead.

You can watch the highlights of the pair's exchange in the video at the top of this article.