Breaking: James Gallagher vs Jeremy Kennedy Added to Bellator 302 in Belfast

A featherweight bout between James Gallagher (12-2) and no.3-ranked Jeremy Kennedy (19-3, 1 NC) has been added to Bellator 302. Multiple sources with knowledge of the booking confirmed the matchup to, which will take place on Friday 22nd March in the SSE Arena, Belfast.

Bellator 302 will see the launch of the Bellator Champions Series. Per a promotional press release, the Belfast show will be the first of eight such events that “will take place in top MMA growth markets around the world, featuring world title fights and world ranked fighters on each card.”

Corey “Overtime” Anderson (17-6) and Karl Moore (12-2) are slated to compete for the vacant Bellator light heavyweight title in the main event of Bellator 302. Moore will be joined on the card by fellow Belfast native, Leah “The Curse” McCourt (8-3), who is set for another domestic showdown with Dubliner Sinéad “KO” Kavanagh (9-6). The women’s featherweight bout, which will serve as the co-main event, will be a rematch of their 2022 Dublin contest.

The Belfast event will mark the first time that James Gallagher fights on Irish soil since his November 2021 defeat to now Bellator bantamweight champion Patchy Mix. After a string of injuries and fight cancellations, “The Strabanimal” returned to the Bellator cage up a new weight class in August 2023, edging James Gonzalez via Split Decision at Bellator 298. The Irish star is making up for lost time as he jumps straight to the top of the division to take on the surging number-three ranked featherweight, Jeremy Kennedy.

Riding a three-fight win streak into the contest, Kennedy will be hoping to spoil the party for the hometown fans once again. Unbeaten in the cage since April 2021, Kennedy earned wins over Emmanuel Sanchez and Aaron Pico across 2021 and 2022. Most recently, “JBC” scored a comprehensive decision victory over SBG Ireland’s Pedro Carvalho at 3Arena Dublin last February. Many believed the win over Carvalho had punched Kennedy’s ticket for a title shot, but with Bellator featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire booked to take on PFL champion Jesus Pinedo in Saudi Arabia, Kennedy’s road to any potential opportunity for gold lies through James Gallagher.

The full Bellator 302 card is yet to be revealed, but the current list of matchups can be found below:

Light Heavyweight World Title Bout: Corey Anderson (17-6, 1 NC) vs. Karl Moore (12-2)
Women’s Featherweight Co-Main Event: Leah McCourt (8-3) vs. Sinead Kavanagh (9-6)
Featherweight Bout: James Gallagher (12-2) vs Jeremy Kennedy (19-3, 1NC)

Andy is a multimedia reporter, interviewer, writer, with a strong focus on Irish MMA. Co-host of The Auld Triangle podcast. Follow Andy on Twitter (@andyste123) and Instagram (@andystevensonMMA).

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