Brett Johns calls out James Gallagher for Ireland card and tells Bellator ‘if I don’t finish him, cut me’


In a perfect world Brett Johns would feel completely content if his Bellator MMA career was over.

That said, the veteran bantamweight understands that the Paramount-owned promotion wasn’t all that happy with his recent win over Jordan Winski that ended in a lopsided decision but wasn’t exactly the kind of fight that will be replayed as one of the best of the year when 2022 is over.

While winning should always matter most, Johns knows that there’s always going to be an entertainment value tied to every performance, which is why he’s willing to bet his career on his next fight.

“I have received messages from Bellator saying that they are unhappy about my performances in the past and feel I must do something,” Johns stated to MMA Fighting.

“I want to fight [James] Gallagher next. If I don’t finish him, cut me. At the end of the day, this is what I want. These big fights are what I desire. I’ve got a record of 19-3. Why wouldn’t I do it?”

Johns had been scheduled to meet Gallagher at Bellator Ireland’s last event, but Team SBG and Glory MMA and Fitness were forced from the card weeks prior.

That was how Johns met Winski and took on the fight, despite an injury to his ribs during training camp. Johns also suffered a foot injury from a kick he threw against Winski but he’s still not making excuses for what many are calling a lackluster win.

Rather than defend his performance, Johns prefers to ask for a chance to do even better with a fight against Gallagher in February when Bellator is scheduled to return to Ireland again.

“I’m not happy with the performance,” Johns said. “I get it. “I’m right there with you. They’re not the fights I want to put on for people. It’s just the last two fights have been unfortunate.

“Going back to my initial fight with [Danny] Sabatello, he did the same sort of thing to me in that fight. Obviously, I felt like the last four fights have been bad draws for me so I need to pick it up and do something about it.”

Johns said that he was told about Bellator’s complaint by his manager, but has no animus towards the promotion.

In fact, Johns praises Bellator for the way he’s been treated after signing with the organization as a free agent following a seven-fight win with the UFC where he put together an impressive 5-2 resume.

” I don’t remember what they told [my manager] Brian [Butler], but Brian contacted me while on holiday and they had to have spoken to me something that he thought was important to me,” Johns stated. “I just don’t think they’re happy. I love this promotion. Bellator has been brilliant to me so that’s why it was a little bit like OK, I guess I’ve got to start moving. This is something I have to change. It’s not what I want to do.

” I want to build a relationship with them and I am happy that I have been here at Bellator. I will also say this — I would be glad to end my career here. Bellator would be a great place to have my final fight and I would love to continue these fights with them. That’s what I want. To hear that my main bosses are unhappy with me, I have to take action .”

Considering he was already booked with Gallagher previously, Johns doesn’t see why Bellator wouldn’t give him the fight again but he’s also happy to raise the stakes to prove his worth to the promotion.

“I’ve been with some of the most talented men in the world, but I still have to see him as the top man in the rankings. That doesn’t make sense to me,” Johns said. Johns stated, “That’s the reason James Gallagher won and that’s what I want to fight.” It’s quite simple. It’s a great nation. It’s nothing even personal against James. It’s me personally, I need to beat somebody like that. He’s higher than me in the rankings and that’s what I want. I want the number next to his name.

“If I don’t finish him, cut me. This is a huge fight in my career. This is not to make me feel bad, but it’s something I believe I deserve. 19 victories, 3 defeats, and two world titles that I have won through promotions. This fight is something I think I deserve.