James Gallagher confirms Bellator Champions Series fight vs. Leandro Higo a title eliminator

Fight fans don’t often get to see James Gallagher compete in the cage as much as he’d like, but he’s still inching closer to his first major promotional title opportunity.

At a Bellator Champions Series: Belfast virtual pre-fight news conference Wednesday, Gallagher (12-2) said should he defeat opponent Leandro Higo (22-6) on Friday at SSE Arena, which confirmed similar language used by the promotion when the fight was announced.

“They have told me I’ll fight for the world title when I beat Leandro this weekend,” Gallagher said. “They’ve already confirmed that to me. So it’s both. I want to get active and I want to fight for the world title.”

Gallagher and Higo were supposed to fight in March 2023, but Gallagher withdrew. It was one of his four publicly-known withdrawals since 2020.

Despite his sparse activity, Gallagher remains focused on the prize: title gold.

“I bring a mind set and a skill set that he has not faced against,” Gallagher said. “I feel he’s going to be emotional and overreact on every flinch that I make. I’m going to get him into the positions that I want and capitalize on it.”

Over the past four years, the rivalry between Team Pitbull and SBG Ireland has been revisited. Verbal jabs have been exchanged through various interviews. Gallagher said he’ll keep his emotions at bay, regardless of the opponent.

“There’s no animosity from me ever,” Gallagher said. “It’s clear-minded, very focused and I’ve got a job at hand. The only animosity there is, is between him and him. I’m not involved in that animosity. I’m here clear-minded, very focused. I’ve put in the work. I don’t actually have much to say about him. Friday night, I’m going to go in there and show all I’ve done. I don’t need to sit here and speak about him. I don’t need to sit here and say there’s animosity or create this narrative to cover his nervous energy.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator Champions Series: Belfast.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie