James Gallagher was supposed to be the star of Bellator 204. A darling of the promotion with an exciting style and close ties to superstar fighter Conor McGregor, he was marked for greatness in a big way.
The Strabanimal likely knew this too, and when he was matched against the unheralded Ricky Bandejas for Friday's event at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, he was looking to pack as many highlights as he could into one fight, ranging from showboating at the weigh-ins to a pre-fight pull-apart in the cage.
Unfortunately for him, the most memorable highlight is how he wound up being viciously knocked out in the first round.
Check out the clip:
After being knocked to the mat with a clean right hand down the pipe, Gallagher stumbles around before Bandejas puts him back on the ground with a picture-perfect Sweet Chin Music-style side kick.
While the Irishman and training partner of McGregor was likely far gone just on those two blows, a bit of ground-and-pound sealed the deal and saw Bandejas pop off after being officially declared the winner.
Unsurprisingly, Gallagher's loss drew a tidal wave of jeers from both fans and his fighting constituents. That said, the 21-year-old has a lot of time and a high ceiling. He'll have plenty of chances to rebound from this.