Ireland’s James Gallagher Returns Against Surging Cris Lencioni When BELLATOR Comes to Sioux Falls

BELLATOR MMA has today announced the addition of three exciting matchups, including the long-awaited return of Irish star James Gallagher (11-2) and the debut of NCAA Division I All-American Michael Blockhus, to this August 11’s return to the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Gallagher will take on surging Oregonian Cris Lencioni (11-3) in a featherweight bout, while Blockhus will debut against Eli Mefford (0-4), also at 145 pounds.  


In addition, a lightweight bout pitting London Shootfighters standout Alfie Davis (15-4-1) against Aalon Cruz (11-4), who is currently in the midst of a three-fight winning streak, has been added to the preliminary portion of the event as well.


The main card of BELLATOR MMA 298: Storley vs. Ward will air LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, August 11 at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT.  The preliminary card begins at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT, and will air on the BELLATOR and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channels, as well as the BELLATOR channel on Pluto TV. 


Tickets for the event can be purchased at Sanford Pentagon Box Office & Ticketmaster beginning with a special presale TODAY, while general on sale starts tomorrow, Thursday, May 25.  


Gallagher, 26, took the MMA world by storm as a flashy, confident submission ace when he joined the BELLATOR roster in 2016. Since, he has proven himself a world-class talent with a flair for the dramatic; of his eight BELLATOR victories, six have come by way of submission. In his first fight since November 2021, Gallagher will look to make up for lost time in what promises to be one of the most entertaining fights — and build-ups — of 2023 against Lencioni.


The 28-year-old Lencioni may just be Gallagher’s match, both inside the cage and on the microphone. “Sunshine” has won four straight fights, including back-to-back victories inside the BELLATOR cage, en route to finding himself in the biggest fight of his life at the Sanford Pentagon. Lencioni bested top prospect Cody Law at BELLATOR 289 and followed that up with a highlight-reel inverted triangle submission win over Blake Smith at BELLATOR 294.  


Also taking place at featherweight, highly-touted wrestler Michael Blockhus will make his professional MMA debut against four-fight veteran Eli Mefford. The University of Minnesota product, who four times qualified for the NCAA Division I National Championships, will compete in mixed martial arts for the first time on a card headlined by fellow Gopher and former Interim Welterweight Champion Logan Storley. The BIG 10 finalist and All-American trains out of the illustrious Kill Cliff FC gym in South Florida. 






Friday, August 11 — 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT


Welterweight Main Event: #1-Logan Storley (14-2) vs. #8-Brennan Ward (17-6)


Heavyweight Feature Bout: #2-Valentin Moldavsky (11-3, 1 NC) vs. #3-Steve Mowry (10-0-1, 1 NC)


Middleweight Feature Bout: #4-Dalton Rosta (8-0) vs. #6-Aaron Jeffery (13-4)


Lightweight Feature Bout: #6-Sidney Outlaw (16-5) vs. #7-Islam Mamedov (22-2-1)




BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel | Pluto TV


5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT


Featherweight Bout: James Gallagher (11-2) vs. Cris Lencioni (11-3)


Featherweight Bout: #10-Lucas Brennan (7-0) vs. Weber Almeida (7-1)


Featherweight Bout: Michael Blockhus (0-0) vs. Eli Mefford (0-4)


Lightweight Bout: Alfie Davis (15-4-1) vs. Aalon Cruz (11-4)

Join Our WhatsApp Group

Join our UFC WhatsApp fan group and discuss the latest UFC events and news