With the news that Georges St-Pierre will be returning to fight in the UFC emerging earlier in the week, Donegal's Joseph Duffy has been compared to former UFC champion by his training partner at the Tristar gym in Montreal that Duffy now calls home.
Aiemann Zahabi, younger brother of highly respected Tristar head coach Firas, is set to make his UFC debut on Sunday night when he takes on the winner of TUF Brazil in Reginaldo Vieira, but speaking to Petesy Carroll of Severe MMA he discussed the transformation that he has seen in his teammate.
Duffy returned to winning ways against Mitch Clarke back in July of last year after a loss to Dustin Poirier in January where it was his opponent's superior wrestling that ultimately cost him a decision victory. Now, however, Zihabi believes the improvements he has made in that area of his game mean we will be looking at a totally different beast the next time he fights.
I was only telling him this week that if the Joe Duffy that fought Dustin Poirier fought the Joe Duffy of today, the older version of Joe would get eaten alive. That Joe Duffy is garbage compared to what we’re looking at now.
I actually call him ‘The Irish GSP’ in the gym now. When he first came he wasn’t really taking people down. He came in from that boxing background and we saw how amazing his hands were early on, but ever since the Poirier fight his progress with wrestling has been amazing.
He’s taking everyone down. I don’t want to name names, but it really is incredible to see his improvements. Joe is one of the guys that truly works tirelessly on his weakest areas, and we’ve been blown away by his progress. We’re all very happy with how he’s done.
Some very kind words, and we can't for March 18th to see the hard work put into practice.
Duffy fights Reza Madadi in London for what will be the final fight on his UFC contract, and considering what has been said about the negotiations it seems like Joe will be testing the market in free agency, as ridiculous as that seems for someone who has three first-round stoppage wins in his four UFC fights.
The Donegal native really does appear to be loving life in Montreal, as can be seen by a recent mini-doc by Fight Network which was published last week:
Hopefully he can claim another impressive win in his final fight of his current contract to give himself the best possible position when it comes to negotiating his next deal, for whichever organisation that values him the most.