Report – James Gallagher forced to withdraw Bellator bantamweight World Grand Prix

James Gallagher
Mandatory Credit: Lucas Noonan – Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA bantamweight contender, James Gallagher has reportedly been forced to withdraw from the promotion’s upcoming World Grand Prix beginning in April, after doctors failed to medically clear the Strabane native to return to active competition following a recent surgical procedure. 

Gallagher, a native of Strabane, most recently featured in the co-main event of Bellator 270 back in November at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland – suffering an eventual third round guillotine defeat to World Grand Prix challenger and one-time title chaser, Patchy Mix. 

Per an initial report by Sports Illustrated reporter, Justin Barrasso this Wednesday night, Gallagher failed to obtain medical clearance to compete again following a recent surgical procedure, resulting in his withdrawal from the tournament. The promotion are actively searching for a replacement for Gallagher to appear in the bantamweight World Grand Prix.

“I’m gutted to be watching this tournament unfold from the sidelines,” James Gallagher said. “I will be ready to go later in the year and available to fill in as an alternate if anyone gets hurt.” 

This recent development follows a difficult week for the promotion’s planned Grand Prix, with division champion, Sergio Pettis forced from his opening bracket title defense against teammate, Raufeon Stots in April – as well as the entire tournament, as he prepares to undergo a surgical procedure after suffering a recent injury.

As a result, the promotion have now booked an interim title fight between the surging wrestling standout, Stots, and former division best, Juan Archuleta for April 23. – with the eventual Grand Prix victor meeting Pettis in a bantamweight title unification fight in the future. 

Before his November submission loss to Mix, Gallagher, a trainee of James Krause at Glory MMA and Fitness, had complied a four-fight winning run, besting the quartet of Cal Ellenor, Roman Salazar, Jeremiah Labiano, and Steven Graham.

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