Bellator bantamweight James Gallagher has withdrawn from the upcoming Bantamweight Grand Prix due to an injury.
Gallagher is the second bantamweight contender to withdraw from the Grand Prix this week after champion Sergio Pettis announced he had suffered an injury in the leadup to his scheduled bout with Raufeon Stots.
Sports Illustrated was the first to report the news of Gallagher’s withdrawal.
“I’m gutted to be watching this tournament unfold from the sidelines,” Gallagher told S.I. “I will be ready to go later in the year and available to fill in as an alternate if anyone gets hurt.” (h/t MMA Junkie)
Gallagher hadn’t officially been given an opponent for the upcoming tournament, but some speculation arose that he was going to be paired with Magomed Magomedov. Now, the promotion may turn to alternate Josh Hill as a replacement.
Juan Archuleta will step in for Pettis for the interim title at Bellator 279 against Stots. The winner of the tournament will face Pettis for the unified title at a later date.
Gallagher suffered a third-round submission loss to Patchy Mix in his last fight at Bellator 270 last November. Before that, he had gotten back into the title chase with four-straight victories over the likes of Roman Salazar and Cal Ellenor.
Gallagher, a former SBG Ireland teammate of Conor McGregor, rose onto the scene after appearing to mimic McGregor’s fight promoting style after winning his Bellator debut over Mike cutting at Bellator 158.
The exact nature of Gallagher’s injury is uncertain, but he is expected to undergo surgery within the coming weeks.
Who do you want James Gallagher to eventually fight next?