Bellator 228 will mark the third time that AJ Agazarm walks to an MMA cage to do battle with Jonathan Quiroz.
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Debuting in January at Bellator 214, Agazarm would suffer a split decision loss before picking up his first win in July by first-round rear-naked choke submission.
Now heading into fight number three, the D1 college wrestler and BJJ black belt will be doing so at 145-pounds. A division that happens to highlighted at this event with its million-dollar Grand Prix tournament.
“It’s a drastic change in weight. And I think more than anything, it’s a notice for everybody else in this room,” Agazarm said to The Body Lock in reference to the rest of the featherweights on Bellator 228.
“I didn’t realize the tension that they have around me until I’ve been around all of them. And they’re all kind of side-eyeing me. But you know, I’m here to do business. And I’m here to prove that I’m the best. Whatever I got to go through. Whether that’s a fight at 160 [pounds], and a fight at ’55, and a few more fights, it’s just a matter of time. It’s just one of those things. Slowly but surely it’ll happen. And I’ll be hovering over them like a UFO on Independence Day.
“The first [fight] I just threw in there because I walk around at 175,” he continued. “I got down to 160 because it was a two-week notice. And I was just like, hey, I’m a man of my word. I’ll do it. Let’s do it. And I just got another rep in after that. And now here’s my third one. I’m just trying to get as many as I possibly can. And keep honing my skills. I’m working with the best.”
Before Agazarm takes center stage, another highly touted prospect in James Gallagher will compete at Bellator 227 in Dublin, Ireland.
Originally, the 9-1 Irishman was supposed to be taking on Cal Ellenor before the injury bug reared its ugly head. In to replace him came UFC veteran, Roman Salazar.
However, prior to that Agazarm through his name into the hat while making it clear that he would still come and do his already scheduled fight for this Saturday. Despite that likely being logistically impossible.
“I was ready, willing and able to do my job. But hey, they had other plans for him,” Agazarm said.
“It’s like the same thing with the UFO. I’ll always be over Gallagher’s head. I’ll always be there, just in the back of his… waiting. And he knows his time is running out. He’s a phony. He’s got no real accolades other than a padded record in MMA. What has he accomplished in Jiu-Jitsu? What has he accomplished in any martial art? I mean, I’m just being real. You put me versus him, he’s going to lose. And it’s not necessarily that Bellator wants him to win, but they don’t want him to lose.
“Gallagher’s prancing around like he’s the man. And I’m more than happy to shut him up. ‘Mini Mac.’ What is he doing?”
Perhaps we’ll end up seeing the Agazarm vs Gallagher matchup at some point down the line. But first, each man has to get through their respective opponents this weekend.
Drake Riggs is an MMA writer based out of Brush Prairie, Washington, USA who specializes in feature pieces, the women's fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. He has been a passionate fan of MMA ever since 2009. Drake has most notably written for BJPenn.com, FanSided, The Body Lock, South China Morning Post, MyMMANews, Cageside Press, Sherdog, The Scrap, and MMA Today. He has also written for and created video content for RT Sport. As for other sports, Drake is a longtime fan of the NFL's Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @DrakeRiggs_ . Also check out all of his video content on YouTube at: "Drake Riggs" where he uploads fighter interviews, podshows, and various other types of content.