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Gonzalez to replace Lencioni At Bellator 298

James Gallagher’s next opponent has been chosen Image Credit: Pavel Danilyuk

Irish fighter James Gallagher will face the USA’s James Gonzalez at Bellator 298 following the medical emergency suffered by his previous opponent, Cris Lencioni.

Gallagher and Lencioni were due to face off against each other at the event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on August 11th. However, earlier in June Lencioni was hit by a cardiac arrest during a training session and his status has been unclear ever since, with the family understandably staying tight-lipped and seeking privacy.

Earlier in June, though, the fighter’s wife Marca gave an update via Instagram writing of her shock at the incident and gratitude for the support she and her family have received from fans.

“On Thursday 6/8 there was an incident while Cris was training, and he experienced a cardiac arrest,” she said. “The athletes at the gym were great and immediately called 911 and did their best to address his needs until paramedics arrived.

“We are currently in another state. He has been under the care of excellent doctors with I and much of his family by his side. We are all hopeful for the progress we know he will continue to make.

“Prayers are always welcome – if your kiddos want to make a card or anything like that, bring it to the gym and we will make sure Cris gets it. We are currently in uncharted territory and taking everything day by day. Thank you for the continued support during this time.”

After such a traumatic incident, a fight was obviously off the cards for the 28-year-old, who is on a four-fight winning streak and has notched up 11 wins in total, so a rearrangement for Gallagher was necessary.

Gallagher meets Gonzalez

The re-arranged fight comes at a difficult time for Gallagher, who might be lacking fight fitness having not fought since he lost to Patchy Mix in November 2021. Clashes with Brett Johns and Leandro Higo were planned but unfortunately they both fell through.

Despite that protracted absence from the octagon and that loss to Mix, Gallagher has incredible form across a career that began in October 2015 with victory over Denis Ahern. He went his first seven fights – from that Ahern bout to victory over Chinzo Machida in June 2017 – without a single defeat. 

The streak was broken when he was KO’d by Ricky Bandejas in August 2018, but that and the Mix defeat remain the only two low points of a career that’s seen him clock up 11 wins over 13 matches.

Gonzalez’s fight history is deeper, with the American competing in 16 bouts since he made his debut in March 2016, but it’s been less successful, with the 32-year-old suffering six defeats in total.

The bout is another mouth-watering addition to an already-stacked fight card for Bellator 298.

The welterweight bout between Logan Storley and Brennan Ward is the undoubted highlight, but there will also be standout fights between Valentin Moldavsky and Steve Mowry, as well as the Gallagher versus Gonzalez contest.

Bellator 299 is already locked in for September, when Johnny Eblen and Fabian Edwards will headline the card at the 3Arena in Dublin.

Written and distributed by Chat T Sports.

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