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20th Aug 2018

Ricky Bandejas reveals what he screamed in James Gallagher’s face following that brutal knockout

Mad cold

Ben Kiely

Ricky Bandejas

“Before the fight, I was a nobody. Now, I’ve got a little bit of respect,’ – Ricky Bandejas.

The biggest MMA news story of the weekend was Ricky Bandejas handing James Gallagher his first ever professional loss. Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell was one of the few people to predict the upset. However, not even ‘the Wolf’ saw it ending that brutally.

All the talk surrounding the fight was how a win for ‘The Strabanimal’ would secure him a title shot. Even Bandejas thought the promotion were setting him up to fall, as he explained on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show.

“Absolutely. I think they were looking at me as a stepping stone, an invite for Gallagher down to the 135 lb division. But, we spoiled that.”

“All his fights prior to he had stand up guys, no guys with ground, they gave him the right opponents. So when they offered me, I was a little confused. But when I thought about it, everybody thinks I’m a wrestler and a ground guy, so I think they thought I was the perfect match-up for Gallagher.”


Gallagher’s trash talk leading up the fight rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Bandejas wasn’t one of these people. He just saw it as the potential for more exposure.

“Nah, it didn’t really bother me. I knew August 17 we would be fighting. It brings a lot of good publicity. People hate it, but it brought a lot of attention to the fight and it paid off because I knew I was going to win.”

The first time Bandejas saw Gallagher was at the Bellator 204 weigh-ins. He explained that he was talking smack before they both headed on stage to tip the scales.

“’10-2′. ‘You’re not on my level.’ ‘I’m on a new level.’ ‘I’m going to smash you.’ Things like that. (Before the fight) he was down right around the corner, you heard him screaming. ‘Ricky, I’m coming.’ ’10-2.’ ‘You’re not on my level.’ ‘You’re fucked.’ He didn’t bother me at all, but in the hallway and when he got in my face in the cage, I was like, ‘How could this guy be so confident?'”


After knocking the Tyrone youngster out, Bandejas leaned over him and taunted him. He revealed that he screamed ‘11-1, bitch!‘ in his face, a reference to his record after the fight. He admitted having no regrets over his actions.

“When the ring announcer was announcing us, he was jumping and staring, I started to see that he was a little nervous. I knew once the fight started, he was going to come hard. But me and my coach, we had a plan. We knew once we started hitting him and stuffing takedowns, he would break. And that’s exactly what happened.”

“You could just tell he was nervous. It was his whole demeanour. You could tell he wasn’t as confident as I thought he would be.”

The story may have been Gallagher losing, but lest we forget, Bandejas also won. It was an incredible performance by the New Jersey native. It will be interesting to see what the promotion has planned for him next.