The Friday Five: August 17th, 2018

1. James Gallagher Seeks Bellator Title Shot with Win at Bellator 204

At Bellator 204 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, James Gallagher—the Conor McGregor teammate who Bellator is clearly incredibly high on—moves down a weight class, from featherweight, where he was slightly undersized compared to the average fighter, to bantamweight.

“It’s been going perfect, it has,” he said of his weight cut when talking to FIGHT SPORTS last week.

“I’ve been working with George Lockhart, who’s one of the best fighter nutritionists in the world, and I’m getting the right advice from the right people. I feel better than ever. I feel bigger, I’m just carrying less body fat; my muscle mass has gone up, my strength has gone up. I’ve never felt better.”

While Gallagher-Bandejas is on a card headlined by bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell, Caldwell has moved up to take a fight at featherweight against Noad Lahat. It makes a statement about just how open bantamweight is right now. With that in mind, how far does the Irishman think he is from a title shot if he wins tonight in Sioux Falls?

“You haven’t been following it much, have you not?” he asked, arguably overambitious about his weight class debut against a Bellator debutante. “You haven’t done your research, have you? Because the whole f*ckin’ world knows that this fight is a title contender shot. My next fight’s gonna be for the world title in Dublin.”

2. Fury Returns, Eyes Title Bout with Wilder

After a one-sided return fight earlier this year, Tyson Fury said that he’s looking to put on a show on August 17th in Belfast.

Fury is not looking to put on a show for just the fans, and those disappointed by his fight against Sefer Seferi, but for WBC world heavyweight champion and possible November opponent, Deontay Wilder.

When asked about how he felt about Wilder making the trip to commentate for BT Sport and watch Fury’s fight against Francesco Pianeta, Fury claimed it was “fantastic.”

“He’s only the WBC champion, which a lot of people have had in the past. But not many heavyweights have been the lineal champion.”

“Am I confident I can beat Wilder? One hundred per cent. I’ll beat them all. Ain’t nobody who can touch me, this is my era.”

Fury admits he cannot afford to take Pianeta lightly. “He beat Johann Duhaupas, who gave Wilder a good fight,” said Fury of the fighter who has gone 35-5 professionally.

“He’s been in some great fights himself and is a former European champion and two-time world title challenger.

“It’s his big shot at the gold, isn’t it?

3. Harrison Improves to 2-0 in MMA

Credit: PFL.Twitter

Former two time Olympic Gold Medalist, Harrison remained undefeated inside the cage, as she would finish off opponent Jozette Cotton within three rounds on Thursday night.

Harrison would look comfortable as she would work Cotton over with takedowns in the opening round. In the second round would show dominance in the round, and in the third Harrison would not want leave it up to the scorecards as she would stop Cotton with a ground and pound in the final round.

“I’m still trying to get all the issues out of the game plan, but overall I’m happy,” Harrison said in her post-fight interview.

“I never want it to go three rounds, but it’s good to know that I can go three, or five, or 10, or however long it takes to put somebody away.”

4. Joshua May Have to Face WBO Mandatory

Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Deontay Wilder may continue to wait for a fight with Anthony Joshua, as Joshua may have to fulfill a WBO mandatory title defense after his September 22nd showdown against Alexander Povetkin.

Joshua may have a litany of options after his fight with the WBA mandatory, but the WBO may open the door for a rematch against fellow Matchroom Boxing fighter, Dillian Whyte.

A WBO statement to Sky Sports read: “With respect to our WBO heavyweight champion Mr. Anthony Joshua, be advised that Joshua has 180 days counting from the date of his last compulsory defense (after the Alexander Povetkin bout) to fulfill his mandatory defense obligations.”

Whyte is the current WBO international champion and ranked second in the WBO, behind Povetkin. And even with that ranking, the WBO would not confirm if Whyte would be ordered to fight in a final eliminator.

The statement continued: “Be advised that at this time the WBO has yet to determine if a WBO heavyweight elimination contest will be ordered.

“Further, the involvement of our WBO international heavyweight champion Mr. Dillian Whyte in a WBO heavyweight elimination bout is uncertain.”

Another of Joshua’s belts, the IBF title, has a mandatory eliminator between Kubrat Pulev and Hughie Fury, is set to take place on October 27th in Bulgaria.

5. Wilder Crashes Weigh-ins, Confronts Fury

WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, who likely will defend his title at the end of the year against Tyson Fury as long as Fury wins his match with Francesco Pianeta tomorrow, crashed the weigh-in ceremony and had a heated confrontation with the former heavyweight king.

Fury-Pianeta will co-headline the Windsor Park card that features Carl Frampton defending his interim WBO featherweight title against Luke Jackson.

Watch the footage in the video player above.

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