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20th Aug 2018

Conor McGregor told James Gallagher what went wrong in knockout defeat

"He knew, he could see it. "

Ben Kiely

Conor McGregor James Gallagher

When Conor McGregor was James Gallagher’s age, he had already suffered a first-round loss.

In his third professional fight, Conor McGregor was tapping to a kneebar from Artemij Sitenkov. Two years later, he was being submitted by Joseph Duffy in just 38 seconds. What happened next was the greatest run we have ever seen from an MMA fighter.

McGregor won his next 15 fights after losing to Duffy. He picked up the Cage Warriors lightweight belt, the Cage Warriors featherweight strap, a UFC contract and the UFC featherweight belt during this incredible run. On one knee, he knocked out two-time UFC title challenger Chad Mendes. In 13 seconds, he ended Jose Aldo’s nine-year undefeated streak.

Then he lost again.

He bounced back from that shock loss to Nate Diaz by defeating his rival in the rematch. Then he turned Eddie Alvarez’ granite chin to dust to claim the UFC lightweight belt. If anyone knows about bouncing back from defeat, it’s ‘The Notorious’.


When James Gallagher suffered the first loss of his professional career in devastating fashion, it hit him hard. He admitted on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show that he cried after the fight. But then he picked himself up, dusted himself off and assessed the situation.

Now he’s looking for an immediate rematch against Ricky Bandejas, the man who brutally knocked him out, on home territory. He knows what he did wrong at Bellator 204, McGregor told him. And he’s looking to correct those mistakes.

“Yeah, big time. (Conor told me) what went wrong. He knew, he could see it. We see each other every day.”

“I went there and I looked for a scrap. A scrap’s what I got and I got clipped and I got put down. I should be smart. I’m a smart fighter. I use my mind. That’s how I win. That’s how I’ve always won. I didn’t do that this weekend. I went out there looking to kill. Aggressive, I was hyped out of me mind walking into that fight. I wasn’t clear-headed.”

Gallagher (7-1) turns 22 in October. Count him out at your peril.