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30th Mar 2017

James Gallagher didn’t take too kindly to legendary champion calling bullshit on teammate’s claim

Big Irish balls

Ben Kiely

If Dillon Danis was trying to evoke a response, mission accomplished.

The BJJ black belt rose to prominence in the MMA community after being drafted in as Conor McGregor’s training partner. While in close proximity to ‘the Notorious’ as he achieved history in the sport, Danis began pushing to make his MMA debut for a major promotion.

In the end, it was Bellator, not the UFC who ended up signing the 23-year-old. After the announcement was made, Chandler went on to make a serious claim about his deal on the MMA Hour.

“I have a bigger following and a bigger name than anyone on the roster. So at the end of the day I wasn’t surprised. It was the right move for them. You can put any of those bums against me, and they’ll get a rating.”

“I’m the highest-paid guy in Bellator now, so that’s all I can say.”

There are a lot of well-paid superstars on Bellator’s roster including the likes of Rory MacDonald, Chael Sonnen, Phil Davis and, of course, their loyal lightweight champion, Michael Chandler. ‘Iron’ Mike was amused by Danis’ claim that he was the stand-out star in the talent-filled promotion.

The thing about teammates is they always back each other up. When James Gallagher saw his fellow SBG fighter being called out like that, he felt the need to step in.

Gallagher is set to take on Lyoto Machida’s 40-year-old brother on Bellator 180 in New York. To promote that fight, he told Chandler to refer to him as James L Dolan, the Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden.

‘The Strabanimal’ isn’t short of confidence anyway. Chandler is only one of the greatest 155 lber’s in the world right now. His two fights against Eddie Alvarez are up their with the best in lightweight history and his three losses have come at the hands of the world’s elite – Will Brooks (twice) and Alvarez.

Since dropping the sequel bout against Brooks, Chandler has regained his belt, racked up three finishes in his four-straight wins which culminated in edging former UFC champion Benson Henderson in a 2016 fight of the year candidate.

He’ll be defending his belt against undefeated Brent Primus on Bellator 180. It will be interesting to see how he and Gallagher interact with each other while promoting the event.