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'I Was Genuinely Heartbroken' - John Kavanagh Speaks About Paddy Holohan's Retirement

'I Was Genuinely Heartbroken' - John Kavanagh Speaks About Paddy Holohan's Retirement
By PJ Browne

Six days ago, Paddy Holohan made the surprise announcement that he would be retiring from MMA.

Holohan is just 27 and, one would have thought, still had plenty of years in the Octagon ahead of him.

The decision was not a voluntary one, though. He has a rare blood disorder which means he would be unable to pass a UFC medical test.

Holohan was part of what Conor McGregor termed the Irish takeover with his 'We're not just here to take part, we're here to take over line' after he beat Diego Brandao at the 3Arena nearly two years ago. Now, there are just three Irish fighters remaining in the UFC - McGregor. Neil Seery and Aisling Daly.

Speaking to MMAFighting.com, Holohan's coach John Kavanagh spoke about his fighter's retirement. What seems to make him especially disappointed is that he was seeing Holohan make real progress in training.

I was genuinely heartbroken. It's just some super rare genetic disorder. Like he said in his own statement, you've got guys that can take PEDs and it's a fine or a small ban, but they come back. But this is just something that's sort of a roll of the dice when he was born and he just happened to have this. It's been pretty incredible what he's been able to achieve with it. There were things that were changing in training for him that I felt he was going to give it a good run.

His disappointment is mitigated somewhat by a business venture which he was with Holohan, a new gym which the two are establishing - SBG Tallaght.


In saying that, we obviously have the absolute tragic situation with Joao Carvalho two weeks ago now. That's real tragedy. This is a sport's career cut short. The selfish side of me is somewhat not absolutely broken up about it because we're opening up this mega gym together in a couple of weeks. Now he's 100 percent focused on that and not kind of half focused on fighting and half on that.

I'm looking forward to a new relationship with Paddy where we're two coaches now and we're more buddies than student and coach. I'm very excited to see him direct his energy towards getting his own gym, successful and producing his own little team of fighters and making a real positive impact on his community. He's so proud of where he's from. I know he's going to do great things there.

Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

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