Recent Bellator MMA signing, Brett ‘The Pikey’ Johns heaped praise on recent Bellator Milan headliner, James ‘The Strabanimal’ Gallagher – his new promotional stablemate.
Johns, who recently put pen to paper on a multi-fight deal with the Scott Coker led outfit, has won two on the trot – most recently scoring a unanimous decision win over Montel Jackson at a UFC Fight Island event in July. The victory marked the Wales native’s last bout on his UFC contract. Electing to test free agency, Johns recently landed in the Bellator circle.
For Straight Blast Gym mainstay, Gallagher – the 23-year-old grappling ace finally locked horns with fellow submission threat, Cal Ellenor in the main event of Bellator Milan last weekend, emerging unscathed after a dominant first-round rear-naked choke win. Speaking after his fourth consecutive victory, Gallagher who’s emerging as a top-level contender, claimed he’s ready to face whoever Bellator put in front of him next.
Speaking with Peter Carroll and Niall McGrath on an episode of The Bash recently, Johns heralded Gallagher’s performance opposite Ellenor, and welcomed the prospect of meeting with the Strabane native at the 3Arena in Dublin’s docklands, as long as fans can attend, but not necessarily before then.
“You’re gonna laugh at this, but I’m not interested whatsoever (in fighting Gallagher) at the minute, I’m really not” Johns explained. “I think that if me and James Gallagher fought, why on earth would you want to do it during this coronavirus pandemic? Why not stick this in the middle of the 3Arena in Dublin when people are allowed back in [attendance]?”
“To be honest, going off his performance on Saturday, I thought he looked absolutely fantastic, you know,” Johns said. “I think a lot of people forget that Cal Ellenor is an outstanding grappler, is a really good grappler. And the way, you know, he took Cal’s back and took his time – I thought personally that Cal was gonna survive that first round but James got in there and got that rear-naked choke victory.“
“He looked really good, he looked really good in there, you know,” Johns said. “And I’m not gonna sit here and say he looked bad when he really didn’t. James is super young in this game, and a young stud in this game is very, very dangerous. And I think he’s learned a lot in his career – he has learned a lot. And you can see he’s matured as a fighter maybe, he’s not as brash and as vocal as he usually is. But he’s still pulling them victories out the bag.”
A slick grappler in his own right – Swansea native, Johns has notched seven separate submission wins during his nineteen fight career. A seven-fight Octagon veteran, the 28-year-old has only blemished opposite upcoming bantamweight title hopeful, Aljamain Sterling, and perennial all-rounder, Pedro Munhoz. In notable wins, the Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has put away the likes of the above mentioned, Jackson, Joe Soto, and Albert Morales. Johns is also a former Titan FC and Cage Warriors bantamweight gold holder.