Saturday is a terrific day for MMA fans and bettors at Mybookie.ag. Early in the day from the Czech Republic, there’s a UFC Fight Night card. Then at night from Ireland, it’s Bellator 2017 headlined by a bantamweight bout between James Gallagher and Steven Graham. Check back for Bellator odds.
Bellator 217 Odds & Picks for the Main Card
“23 years old, coming from Strabane to be in the main event in the capital city of Ireland, my life is perfect.” –@StrabanimalMMATune in this Saturday – February 23rd, on @ParamountNet at 9/8c!#Bellator217 LIVE on @SkySports in the 🇬🇧 & 🇮🇪 at 9pm GMT!#TheStrabanimal pic.twitter.com/j6f31XIbK1 — Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) 21 de febrero de 2019
- When: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET
- Where: 3 Arena in Dublin, Ireland
- TV: Paramount Network
- Live Stream: Bellator Live
- James Gallagher vs Steven Graham
- Peter Queally vs Myles Price
- Richie Smullen vs Adam Gustab
- Charlie Ward vs Jamie Stephenson
- Ian Cleary vs Mickey Doran
- Ryan Curtis vs Luis Gonzales
- Will Fleury vs Shaun Taylor
- Kiefer Crosbie vs Daniel Olejniczak
- Karl Moore vs Yannick Bahati
- Dylan Logan vs Andrew Murphy
- John Redmond vs George Tokkos
- Leah McCourt vs Hatice Ozyurt
- Richard Kiely vs Mickael Bucher
- Paul Redmond vs Charlie Leary
- Samuel Slater vs Christopher Duncan
- Walter Gahadza vs Ruben Crawford
- Iony Razafiarison vs Olga Ruben
James Gallagher (7-1) vs. Steven Graham (5-3)
Gallagher (7-1-0) is coming off his first career loss to former CFFC champion Ricky Bandejas, who finished “The Strabanimal” in the first round of his bantamweight debut at Bellator 204. Bandejas was the betting underdog against the heavily-hyped Gallagher but finished his opponent in highlight-reel fashion in less than three minutes.
Gallagher used the months leading into Bellator 204 to make some bold statements about beating Bandejas. The Irishman talked of a first-round finish that would set him up for a bantamweight title shot, and attempted to use intimidation tactics to get in Bandejas’ head. Even in the cage prior to the start of the fight, Gallagher got in Bandejas’ face for several seconds without security intervention.
“It didn’t set me back at all, it put me into the stratosphere and took me forward. It took me back for a few days and I was drowning my sorrows and sobbing on the floor for a few hours like it was the most devastating thing ever, but when I sit and look back at it, I think it’s just put me into the stratosphere and it’s taught me a lot,” Gallagher said after the loss.
Gallagher was looking like the next hot featherweight prospect out of SBG Ireland. With a swagger and confidence similar to his teammate Conor McGregor, many wondered if Gallagher would become a breakout star under the Bellator banner. Up until that point, Gallagher had won all four of his tests under the banner, including notable wins over Kirill Medvedovski and Chinzo Machida.
Gallagher had been improving steadily over the course of his career and coming into his own on the feet. Before the loss to Bandejas, Gallagher had choked out six of his seven opponents. With seven victories and six finishes over a three-year stint, the Irishman is undoubtedly one of the brightest young stars in the MMA world.
A relative unknown in comparison to Gallagher, Graham will make his Bellator debut on Saturday. He started his career with a run of 1-3, but has since rekindled his form and put together a run of five consecutive wins, with all victories coming by way of stoppage. However, only one of the fighters he took victory over had a winning record, Andrew Kimzey, whom he stopped in the first round of their meeting at Walkout FC 7.
The 27-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt is known for his gritty style and consistent pressure inside the cage, where each of his six wins have concluded with a finish, including five in the opening round.
Once on the mat, Gallagher likely will seek the rear-naked choke that has brought him victory in the past. Gallagher will have to be careful if he does go for the takedown and not leave his neck exposed to Graham, who has scored three of his six victories by way of guillotine choke.
Peter Queally (11-4-1) vs. Myles Price (10-7)
It’s an all-Irish bout, but that doesn’t mean these guys are pals.
Queally was on the verge of fighting for the Fight Nights Global lightweight title following a first-round TKO of Russian David Khachatryan in May. However, after parting ways with the Russian promotion, “The Showstopper” was snapped up by Bellator in September. Price is a former Straight Blast Gym teammate of Queally’s, who signed for Bellator in July.
Queally has branded Price a traitor to Ireland for turning his back on Conor McGregor: “The only thing worse is being a rat that betrayed his country. This next one is for all of us.”
It was in reference to Price spending three months with American Kickboxing Academy, where Khabib Nurmagomedov is based. Myles had been there while Khabib prepared for his victory over Dubliner McGregor at UFC 229 last October.
Queally said: “Ireland’s greatest sportsman of all time was preparing for the biggest fight of his career. “Myles, an Irishman and former team-mate, spent his own money to fly thousands of miles to help Khabib prepare to beat Conor. He is a rat.”
Price maintains that his decision to go to AKA was one he made for the good of his career, and not one that was rooted in wanting to prepare Nurmagomedov for a fight with McGregor.
SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh has claimed that the bout is one of the biggest fights ever in Irish Mixed Martial Arts. “Queally vs Price is without a doubt the biggest domestic fight that Ireland has ever had,” he said. “You’ve got two very skilled, very experienced pros meeting when they’re kind of peaking in their ability.”
Expert Bellator 217 Predictions
Bet Gallagher and Queally