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Patchy Mix is about to find out if he is actually ready for hostile Dublin crowd

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Patchy Mix won’t just be fighting one Irishman at Bellator Dublin, he’ll be up against several thousand of them.

The former Bellator bantamweight title challenger goes behind enemy lines to take on James Gallagher in Bellator 270’s co-main event. Dublin’s 3Arena will be the battleground, a venue that hosted the UFC Conor McGregor vs Diego Brandao event in 2014. Famously, all six Ireland-based fighters who competed on that card got their hand raised that night. Although Irish fighters have lost in the arena since, the track record of hometown fighters there is very good. And win, lose, draw, DQ or no contest, the crowd always seems to play a factor in the outcome of the fights.

Mix said at the Bellator Dublin Media day that he is well-prepared for the harsh reception he expects to face on Friday night. Although it is his first time fighting in the Irish capital, he’s been in similar situations before.

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“We’re locked in the cage for 15 minutes. All the other outside nonsense means nothing to me,” Mix told the media.

“I fought in the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan in front of 40,000 people. I fought in Madison Square Garden against Ricky Bandejas – he’s from 45 minutes away in New Jersey – 22,000 people. I fought for the world title in front of nobody. It’s up and down, hills and valleys, but it doesn’t matter where. It doesn’t matter when. I always come to perform.”

Enemy Territory

It is true that the 3Arena has under half the capacity of Madison Square Garden Arena and about a third of the Saitama Super Arena. It is equally true that the crowd is going to sound a lot louder than its seated capacity of 9,000 would have you believe.

James Gallagher knows the atmosphere inside the 3Arena will be unlike anything Mix has experienced before.

“It’s nothing like those two places,” said Gallagher.“That’s for sure. I’ve fought in a sold-out Madison Square Garden Arena. I’ve brought thousands to Madison Square Garden Arena. He showed up as a number on that card, I showed up as the co-main event. There’s a difference.”

Gallagher’s SBG teammate Peter Queally has been on both sides of the equation. He has fought Russian fighters in Russia, an English opponent in England, an Italian adversary in Italy, a Polish rival in Poland and African fighters under the EFC banner. In Bellator 270’s headliner, he will be the hometown hero against Patricky Pitbull in their rematch for the vacant lightweight title.

Patricky told the media that he is relishing the opportunity to be the villain. Queally reckons, however, that he might change his mind once he makes the walk.

“I experienced this when I was in Russia,” Queally said. “I kind of relished being the heel and to a certain extent, I did. I tried to enjoy it.

“It’s not nice though. He’ll experience that. He’ll try to enjoy it and I’m sure there are elements of it that he will enjoy, but it’s not a nice feeling. I can guarantee this. And I can only imagine what this is going to be like because this is the most hostile environment ever if you’re an away fighter.”

Mix does not begrudge the Irish fans for supporting Gallagher. Although, he claims to have met some locals who will not be cheering for ‘The Strabanimal’ on Friday night.

“I cherish the Irish fans, man,” Mix claimed. “I think it’s going to be great. All the Irish fans I’ve talked to, they’re nothing but respectful.”

“Just because (James Gallagher) is one of the guys out here and he waves that flag… do you know how many people told me they want me to kick his ass? Just Irish people walking around the area? They know me too, you know. Not everyone’s with the brash and the arrogance. A lot of them are, but true MMA fans who see it for what it is, they’re not there for that.”

This is either attempted mind games from Mix or it’s his way of trying to ready himself for the tsunami of boos he will face from the Dublin fans. Past events have proven that Gallagher always has the full support of the crowd in the 3Arena. And with Mix weighing in 1.8 lbs over the upper bantamweight limit, there will only be more animosity towards him when he takes on Gallagher.

Even still, Mix thinks he’s ready for it.

“When they’re chanting out there, they’re not just chanting against me. I have a whole army on my back. There’s a lot of people relying on me. And you’re going to have to kill me to get me out of there.”

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