James Gallagher suffers brutal, first round KO in Bellator comeback
The 'Strabanimal' was absolutely pummelled after being rocked by a right-hand midway through the first round of his Bellator 204 bout.
James Gallagher returned to fighting action, on Friday, after 14 frustrating months on the sidelines. Following his punishing defeat by Ricky Bandejas, the Strabane native may well face a lengthy medical suspension.
After weeks of trash-talking and victory vows from both men, it was Bandejas who had his arm raised.
Gallagher started well and was doing damage with some low leg strikes but as soon as Bandejas tagged him, 2:35 into the first round, this contest was only ever heading one way. Within 22 seconds of a shot that wobbled his opponent, the bout was over.
The 21-year-old crumpled after a right-hand landed flush on his cheek and back-pedalled as Bandejas stalked ominously. There was another punch that had Gallagher tottering before Bandejas went for two high kicks, the second of which all but ended the fight.
Gallagher fell back against the cage and Bandejas pounced, raining down blows that put his opponent's lights out.
Given the vitriol that went between the fighters in the weeks preceding the fight, Bandejas did not stop to show too much concern, or respect, for Gallagher after the referee waved him away from the brutal scene of victory.
Bandejas improves to 12-1-0 while John Kavanagh's protegé drops to his first defeat in eight professional fights.