SBG fighter Brian Moore has taken James Gallagher’s place in the main event of Bellator 187 in Dublin, but rather than taking on Jeremiah Labiano, “The Pikeman” will face off against surging featherweight prospect A.J. McKee on Nov. 10.
Moore was initially slated to meet Andre Goncalves at the 3Arena show. The Portuguese fighter was given a new opponent for the event, Decky Dalton, but unfortunately the Belfast fighter also had to withdraw due to injury.
According to Moore, as soon as he knew that Gallagher was off the card, he quickly looked into the possibility of facing McKee in the main event of Bellator 187.
“I wanted this fight, I made this thing happen,” Moore told MMAFighting.com.
“When we knew that James was out of the fight, John Kavanagh told me, ‘Bellator are going to shine a light on you now’, but I was thinking, ‘am I still fighting that Portuguese dude that no one has ever heard of?’
“That’s when I thought, ‘what about AJ McKee, who is he fighting?’
“I knew that a main event between me and McKee would be something that MMA fans would be interested in. I’ve got a chance to go in there and snap the biggest win streak in Bellator history and become a title contender.”
Moore is 1-1 under the Bellator banner. He stepped up on short notice to face Daniel Weichel at the promotion’s Dublin debut, Bellator 169, last December only to be submitted in the first round. The Wexford man bounced back with a dominant second round finish of Michal Horejsi in April at Bellator 177.
Beating one of Bellator’s most promising young guns could help to establish Moore with international fans, but all he is concerned with is securing the Bellator featherweight title.
“I don’t really care about having a name or being well known. I care about winning world titles,” he said.
“I’m happy to go under the radar and to go in there and beat the sh*t out of AJ. I don’t care if my stock is low or high after that. If I keep beating these guys I’ll have a belt on my shoulder, that’s all I care about.”
The SBG man thinks McKee has faced lackluster opposition thus far in his professional career.
“The opposition he’s faced have been one dimensional or just not up to scratch. That last guy he fought, Blair Tugman, is a BJJ black belt who couldn’t get the fight to the ground. You could give me a chimpanzee and let me train him for two weeks and he would’ve had better stand up than that guy,” Moore said.
“The guy was diabolical and he still went fifteen minutes with A.J.
“The guy he fought after that couldn’t block a head kick. If you’re fighting in Bellator and you can’t block a high kick that comes from a long way away, you shouldn’t be in there.
“To be fair to him he’s taken them all out, but I know I have what it takes to hand this guy his first pro loss.”