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14th Dec 2016

WATCH: James Gallagher explains how coach John Kavanagh has made him feel invincible

"He's put me in the right place!"

Darragh Murphy

James Gallagher. 20 years old. 4-0. Three first round submissions.

But the Bellator prospect is entirely unconcerned about numbers. He simply wants to be the best in the world at what he does.

The early showings from ‘The Strabanimal’, coupled with the faith being put in him by one of the biggest mixed martial arts organisations in the world, would suggest that he’s capable of some spectacular feats.

And he’ll get the chance to perform once more on Friday night, when he acts as one half of the co-main event of Bellator’s first ever show in Ireland.

Gallagher brings the name and the hype into the cage for his second bout under the promotional banner but the vast majority of the trash talk has come via his opponent, American Anthony Taylor.

At every opportunity, Taylor has attempted to get into Gallagher’s head ahead of their Bellator 169 co-headliner but the undefeated SBG featherweight remains unfazed.

And as confident as Gallagher is in his ability to steamroll Taylor and continue his ascent to the pinnacle of mixed martial arts, he hastens to point out to everyone who will listen that he simply wouldn’t be where he is today if not for his head coach John Kavanagh.

“Everything,” Gallagher said when asked what he owed to the man responsible for teaching the likes of Conor McGregor, Artem Lobov and Aisling Daly the skills necessary to compete at the highest level.

“John took me in when I was 15 and I lived with him and Orlagh for a long time.”

Gallagher’s professional career is just over a year old but, since last October, he’s won all four fights comprehensively and finished his first three opponents via first round submission.

He remains adamant that his next outing won’t go the way of his most recent, when he claims to have had an “off night” en route to his unanimous decision victory over Mike Cutting.

Gallagher wants to get out of there early and he believes that there is nothing that Taylor can do to stop that, thanks to the tools that Gallagher’s been given by his coach and close friend.

“He (Kavanagh) guided me into a kind of direction,” Gallagher continued.

“He would do and say things that sometimes you wouldn’t even notice.

“He’s put me in the right place and I just feel invincible at the minute. I feel absolutely invincible.”