Irish Bellator star James Gallagher has never shied away from a little pre-fight trash talk, and at the recent Bellator 223 press conference in London, he wound up swapping plenty of that with a teammate of his opponent, Jeremiah Labiano.
The drama began during the press conference, when one of Labiano’s teammates began heckling Gallagher from the crowd. Gallagher responded with a firm lecture for his heckler, who he believed was one of his foe’s coaches.
“You’re a coach,” he said (via MMA Junkie). “Let your fighter do his thing. You sit and shut your (expletive) mouth. It’s not your job. You coach him, you train him. You sit there, and shut your (expletive) mouth. These people are brain dead, aren’t they?”
After the press conference, James Gallagher actually approached Labiano’s teammate, at which point a brief skirmish ensued. The pair were quickly separated.
See that below:
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Labiano gave his take on this brief incident.
“There’s two sides to the story,” he said. “But for my guys, James walks by and starts running his mouth and we all know what happened from there.
“They had an exchange of words and, like I was telling everyone else, ‘You poke a tiger, you’re bound to get bit, right?’”
James Gallagher, on the other hand, was a little more heavy-handed in his assessment of things.
“I’m the kind of guy who, if someone doesn’t like me or has something to say and comes up and says it straight to my face and outright, I have respect for that person,” he said. “Like, you have a set of balls. Even though I don’t like what you said. I just like people to have a set of balls, put it on the table and say what they feel. I have respect for that.”
“But what I absolutely hate is cowards. Like a little (expletive) who tries to yap behind the scene but doesn’t want to be up there doing it for themselves. I’ve got no time for that fake kind of person.”
Stay tuned for the result of James Gallagher and Jeremiah Labiano’s fight this weekend.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/20/2019.