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Bad News For Bellator’s Bantamweights

Bellator 204: “Caldwell vs. Lahat” comes to Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., this Friday night (Aug. 17, 2018), featuring a non-title bout between Bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell (12-1) against Featherweight standout Noad Lahat (12-3).

Fight fans can also look forward to Conor McGregor’s training partner James Gallagher (7-0) being featured on the Paramount Network-televised card. Even though the spotlight on his “Notorious” friend is large, Gallagher has always fought to be his own man and his undefeated record is a testament to the fact he’s a capable Straight Blast Gym fighter in his own right.

The streaking Ricky Bandejas (10-1) will put everything Gallagher is made of to the test. He brings five straight wins in from Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) with three wins by knockout and three by submission. Even with those credentials some may still consider it an upset if Bandejas pulls off a big win in Sioux Falls.

Gallagher recently chatted with MMAmania.com about the next test of his young and promising mixed martial arts (MMA) career coming right after a terrible knee injury that took him out of a main event fight in Dublin.

“I feel amazing! I’ve never felt better. (The injury) has made me into a different person. It showed me some dark places. It showed me different routes to go when I face adversity. It showed me how to overcome things, overcome some massive things. Where I’ve lacked before is I thought small things were quite big. I’ve never had any big adversities before really. I’ve never had any problems or anything everything was smooth so any small little problem was quite big but knowing all these small little problems that you faced in camp they’re a breeze to me now.”

Almost all fighters would prefer to have their mettle tested in a fight instead of on an operating table, but Gallagher is still confident that surgery and rehab made him a better man.

“They’re nothing, you know what I’m saying? I’ve dealt with the biggest, the worst, the lowest of the lowest, and now I’m back at the top. I’ve climbed my way back and now I’m gonna go in here and stiffen Ricky up, and then I’m going to move on and do the same to Darrion Caldwell.”

It’s interesting he should mention that given Caldwell is in the main event, but we’ll circle back to that point in a minute. First, Gallagher wants to make it clear he’s at the top of his game again.

“I am back and back better than ever! I feel like it’s fun. I don’t feel that tense feeling that I usually feel coming into fights. It’s like freedom for me, do you know what I’m saying? It’s like I’m home. I’m back, and the whole roster is fucked. They wrote me off when I was down. When I was down at my lowest I had to listen to them write me off, put me down more, say all this shit about me, now I’m back (and) we’re not going to hear a fucking word. They’re all going to be away running.”

Does he also feel that the 10-1 Ricky Bandejas will run away from him in the Bellator cage?

“He’s a Ricky of many trades, that’s for sure, but he’s not fucking good at anything. He knows a little bit of everything. He’s decent on the feet, he’s okay in the wrestling, he’s okay on the floor. He knows he’s a little bit of everything, but he’s not excellent at anything. He’s got a good record, he’s a good opponent to beat, I’m not underestimating him one bit. I feel like he’s going to be here prepared to put on the show of his life, so when he comes out this is his chance. He’s going to fight for his life, but there’s no one that wants it more than me. I’m coming in here prepared ready for that kind of opponent. I’m going to be focused, switched on, and every point every angle he makes I’m going to be a step ahead. I’m going to cut that angle before him, hit that position before him, land that shot before him.”

As promised, Gallagher has some harsh words for the champ. While Caldwell is moving on up to 145 pounds on Friday, Gallagher is moving down to 135 pounds … and he’s not impressed by Caldwell’s performances thus far.

“He’s the most boring bastard of a fighter I’ve ever met. It’s deliberate (that we’re on Bellator 204). It’s not a coincidence. It’s meant to be like that. So if he gets past his guy (and) when I get past my guy, then it’s on! It’s on. He can’t say anything else. It’s on, you know what I mean? I’m ready, I’m going for him back in Dublin. That’s where they’re bringing it. He’s getting dragged over, I’m prepared to go there, you know what I mean? I’m over here on his side. I’m going to go in here and fight and win, and then he’s coming to my side, he’s gonna step in there against me, he’s gonna stiffened up. I’m going to take his belt and then he can move on.”

You really would think that Gallagher was fighting Caldwell on Friday instead of Bandejas. The hits just kept coming as Gallagher poured on the trash talk.

“He’s old you know, he’s 30 years old, and he’s coming to the end you know what I mean? He couldn’t finish his dinner never mind a fucking fight. You can hear it in his interviews already. He’s saying he needs 50,000 Irish fans who want him to come over to Ireland to fight. This is the words he’s saying. He doesn’t think I’m going to win my next fight, all this bullshit. When I do he’s got no choice. If he decides not to, he’s gone. You show up and you fight anywhere when you’re the champion. You show up in anyone’s backyard, you show up in your own backyard, you show up on the fucking street if someone wanted to fight you! Don’t say I don’t want to fight unless there are 50,000 Irish fans who want me over there before I go over. He doesn’t even got 50,000 American fans who want him to fight HERE, so how the fuck does he expect 50,000 Irish fans who want him to come to Ireland? There’s 50,000 Irish fans who want to see ME smoke him and take his belt.”

Let’s just hope that security is ready on Friday night because if they both win we may just get an UNSANCTIONED fight in the Sanford Pentagon.

Complete audio of our interview is embedded above, and complete coverage of “Caldwell vs. Lahat” resides here at MMA Mania all week long.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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UFC 223 Primer: Embedded, Episode 1 – Khabib Gets the Bad News

The biggest story going into UFC 223 fight week isn’t that we’ll get to see if Rose Namajunas’ shocking knockout victory over former strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk was a fluke.

Nor is it whether or not the match-up between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov will see Conor McGregor officially stripped of his undisputed lightweight belt, with the title going to the victor.

Nope. It’s all about Ferguson getting injured, and featherweight champ Max Holloway stepping in ON SIX DAYS NOTICE to face Nurmagomedov for McGregor’s belt.

This is what greatness is all about, folks. Holloway is stepping up for the sake of greatness, and if he somehow pulls off the win, you can bet he’s earned that huge money fight against the superstar Irishman.

Here’s the first episode of Embedded for the week, and of course the most notable thing is Nurmagomedov getting the news that Ferguson is out.

The post UFC 223 Primer: Embedded, Episode 1 – Khabib Gets the Bad News appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

UFC 223 Primer: Embedded, Episode 1 – Khabib Gets the Bad News

The biggest story going into UFC 223 fight week isn’t that we’ll get to see if Rose Namajunas’ shocking knockout victory over former strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk was a fluke.

Nor is it whether or not the match-up between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov will see Conor McGregor officially stripped of his undisputed lightweight belt, with the title going to the victor.

Nope. It’s all about Ferguson getting injured, and featherweight champ Max Holloway stepping in ON SIX DAYS NOTICE to face Nurmagomedov for McGregor’s belt.

This is what greatness is all about, folks. Holloway is stepping up for the sake of greatness, and if he somehow pulls off the win, you can bet he’s earned that huge money fight against the superstar Irishman.

Here’s the first episode of Embedded for the week, and of course the most notable thing is Nurmagomedov getting the news that Ferguson is out.

The post UFC 223 Primer: Embedded, Episode 1 – Khabib Gets the Bad News appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

UFC 223 Primer: Embedded, Episode 1 – Khabib Gets the Bad News

The biggest story going into UFC 223 fight week isn’t that we’ll get to see if Rose Namajunas’ shocking knockout victory over former strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk was a fluke.

Nor is it whether or not the match-up between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov will see Conor McGregor officially stripped of his undisputed lightweight belt, with the title going to the victor.

Nope. It’s all about Ferguson getting injured, and featherweight champ Max Holloway stepping in ON SIX DAYS NOTICE to face Nurmagomedov for McGregor’s belt.

This is what greatness is all about, folks. Holloway is stepping up for the sake of greatness, and if he somehow pulls off the win, you can bet he’s earned that huge money fight against the superstar Irishman.

Here’s the first episode of Embedded for the week, and of course the most notable thing is Nurmagomedov getting the news that Ferguson is out.

The post UFC 223 Primer: Embedded, Episode 1 – Khabib Gets the Bad News appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Nate Diaz Responds to Mayweather/McGregor News In Diaz Fashion

Conor McGregor has done the impossible and carved out a $ 100 million payday fighting boxing’s best, but lets not forgot the last man who defeated him. That’s right, McGregor and Nate Diaz will forever be linked as one of the most lucrative rivals MMA has ever seen, so that – plus that tap out the […]

The post Nate Diaz Responds to Mayweather/McGregor News In Diaz Fashion appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Live Chat: Bellator commentary, UFC Singapore preview, Dana vs. DJ and MMA news

This is the Promotional Malpractice Live Chat.

Bellator made big news on Tuesday when they announced former UFC commentator Mike Goldberg along with former PRIDE, WWE, Glory and current Showtime boxing commentator Mauro Ranallo had signed with their organization. Sean Grande, on the other hand, is out. Is this good for the company? Will this meaningfully change things? What can we expect from both Goldberg and Ranallo? We’ll delve into this territory.

Plus, we’re coming off of UFC Auckland, heading for UFC Singapore. There’s not a whole lot to breakdown with either, but the rest of the summer is coming together. It’s not the best summer the sport’s ever seen, but it’s not the worst. We’ll go into the good, bad and ugly of the summer…

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Live Chat: UFC 210 preview, Jon Jones resurfacing, MMA news and notes

This is the Promotional Malpractice Live Chat.

Finally, a major UFC event is approaching. It’s been over a month since the last one and sport could use something of gravity to buoy it a bit. UFC 210 isn’t the biggest card any of us have ever seen, but the main and co-main events offer enough to count. The rest of the card also has some intriguing contests on it with the return of Will Brooks against a now-lightweight Charles Oliveira, the second appearance of Cynthia Calvillo and more. Most notably, perhaps the co-main event between Gegard Mousasi and Chris Weidman is the most interesting fight of them all.

It’s also been revealed former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is returning to the UFC…sort of. He’ll speak to the…

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Live Chat: Georges St-Pierre return fight, UFC Halifax and Bellator 172 results, MMA news

This is the Promotional Malpractice Live Chat.

Today on the podcast, we’ll go into detail about what’s next for Georges St-Pierre as he returns to the Octagon. Who will he face? Who should he face? Right now, Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping are GSP’s two preferred choices, it appears, with Bisping being the frontrunner. Do these fights make sense? Are they the right calls? We’ll examine the possibilities and weigh them to see which works best for all parties involved as well as the sport.

We’ll also recap the two events from over the weekend, UFC Halifax and Bellator 172. We’ll discuss what’s next for winners like Derrick Lewis, Johny Hendricks, Paul Felder and Sara McMann. We’ll also examine what might be next for those who came up…

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Live Chat: UFC 208 fight week, middleweight title picture, MMA news and notes

This is the Promotional Malpractice Live Chat.

Today on the podcast, we’ll officially kick off UFC 208 fight week. Prior to the chat, in fact, I’ll be in Brooklyn for media day. All of the main card fighters of note are expected to attend and we’ll hopefully learn more about them and their futures today. I tend to think of UFC 208 less as a star-studded event, but as a very good Fight Night with surprisingly important stakes. That as true for the main event as it is the co-main.

Speaking of which, there’s a looming question about who will get the next title shot at middleweight. If Anderson Silva gets by Derek Brunson on Saturday, who’s to say a rematch with Bisping couldn’t be arranged? Both fighters want it and the fight likely pulls…

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Live Chat: UFC 204 results, Greg Hardy to MMA, MMA news and notes

This is the Promotional Malpractice Live Chat.

We’ve just finished off UFC 204: Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson 2. The main event was sensational and the rest of the card respectable, although the initial ratings for the FS1 prelims are the lowest in 13 months. Still, the card produced some magic and portends a lot for the middleweight division.

That leads us to Chris Weidman, who appears to be the clubhouse leader to get a title shot against Bisping if things go well for him at UFC 205. That’s a big if, but there are reasons to think Weidman’s situation will put him at the front of the queue, not least of which is the war of words the two continue to have.

News also broke yesterday that former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy was…

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