James Gallagher to fight at Bellator 180 in New York

The Strabanimal will fight Chinzo Machida in Madison Square Garden

BY Daniel Kelly 08:41 Tuesday 28 March 2017, 8:41 28 Mar 2017

MANDATORY CREDIT ©INPHO/Presseye/Matt Mackey

Tyrone featherweight James Gallagher has been added to Bellator's first New York fight card.

The Strabanimal will fight Chinzo Machida (older brother of former UFC champion Lyoto) at Bellator 180 in Madison Square Garden. The fight will be the most high-profile of the 20-year-old's fledgling career.

With a professional record of 6-0, Gallagher's bout with Machida will be his first outside of Ireland and Britain. The bout will be one of the feature fights on the Madison Square Garden card on June 24th.

The news was announced by Bellator's President Scott Coker, on The MMA Hour on Monday evening. 

Gallagher has yet to win by knockout in his career, but will have to cope with Machida's heavy hands. The 40-year-old Brazilian has won both of his fights in Bellator by knockout, since joining the promotion last year.

Bellator 180 is the organisation's card in recent memory. UFC veterans Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will fight in the main event. Russian Fedor Emelianenko will also compete, for the first time in over a year.

With Gallagher's place secured on the main card, a win over Machida could send the 20-year-old to another level in America. His coach John Kavanagh, said it would be "an honour" to face a member of the Machida family.

Off The Ball

Newsletter

The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week