A.J. McKee became the owner of Bellator’s longest win streak with 10 consecutive victories after a riveting back and forth main event with Brian Moore in Dublin’s 3 Arena recently.
McKee struggled to deal with the SBG fighter’s striking in the second round before he took him down and submitted him early in the third.
James Gallagher was initially scheduled as the main event for Bellator 187 alongside Jeremiah Labiano before a knee injury forced him from proceedings. As McKee’s main promotional rival, Gallagher believes his teammate Moore highlighted some issues with McKee’s fighting style.
“Brian was beating the guy up,” Gallagher told MMAFighting.com.
“He got caught in the last round but he showed a lot of holes in A.J’s game. Brian’s striking really had him in a lot of trouble.
“The thing is, I’m a completely different fighter to Brian. I’m going to be the one taking A.J. down and choking him out.”
The unbeaten Irishman believes that McKee is enjoying himself while he recuperates from his LCL and PCL injuries.
“He can sleep at night now. For these next eight weeks, he’s going to be sleeping like a baby. Once I’m back, that will all stop,” he said.
“He’s resting. He’ll probably put his feet up now until I’m back. Once I’m back, he’ll be getting anxiety attacks thinking about me. That’s the way I want to keep it.”
McKee continues to accuse Gallagher of ducking him, but “The Strabanimal” claims that he has asked for the fight on numerous occasions and has even agreed to McKee’s terms of having their teammates face off on the same night.
“I’m not scared of him,” insisted Gallagher.
“I’ve asked for him every time. I wanted to fight him in the main event on Friday night.
“He’s trying to go with our gym versus his gym. I’ve got the text messages on my phone to show that I’ve been asking about this and trying to set it up.
“We’ve been trying to put Baby Slice (Kevin Ferguson Jr.) versus Kiefer Crosbie together and they don’t want none of it.”
As for looking to avenge Moore’s loss, Gallagher says he does not take defeats that his teammates’ suffer personally. He does think the outcome of the fight will make him hungrier when he eventually returns to action.
“I try not to get too involved with my teammates’ fights,” he said.
“What’s mine is mine and what’s Brian’s is Brian’s. That was Brian’s fight and he just came up short after giving a great account of himself.
“At the same time, it will make me hungrier. Brian gave A.J. the toughest fight of his career tonight and he should be very proud of that. There is no doubt that A.J. is a good fighter.”
Gallagher claimed his main takeaway from the fight was how tired McKee appeared to be in the second round of the contest.
“Look at all of his fights, he gasses in every one of them. The only difference is, this time Brian was good enough to make him pay for it.
“He was panicking in that second round. Brian completely outclassed him in the striking department. He couldn’t deal with the pressure,” he said.
“I feel like he won’t be able to deal with my pressure in the clinch. Even his head position on his takedowns, I’ll tie him up easily. Once I’m on you, I’m on you. I’ve got every submission in the book. I know I can submit that guy.”