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How Joseph Duffy And Paddy Holohan Went About Beating Their Opponents In Glasgow Last Night

Mark O'Toole
By Mark O'Toole
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A capacity crowd filled out the SSE Hydro arena in Glasgow as the UFC put on a show in Scotland for the first time.

The card featured three Irish fighters exactly a week on from Conor McGregor’s victory in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas over Chad Mendes, which saw him claim the Interim Featherweight Championship.

It was also the penultimate European UFC event of the year, with the next and last card due to take place in Dublin on October 24th and this was the last chance for some Irish fighters to stake their claim to be on that event.

The night featured a rousing chorus of “Flower of Scotland” by the crazy Scottish crowd who impressed UFC brass in a similar fashion to the Irish fans at last year’s Dublin event. The Scots cheered on all three of their fighters on the card to victories with Robert Whiteford, Stevie Ray and Joanne Calderwood all coming out on top.

Two Irish fighters also advanced their way up the rankings with dominant, show-stealing performances too.

For a full breakdown Mark O’Toole was in Glasgow for Balls.

Let’s talk about Joe Duffy

Lightweight: Joe Duffy (Ireland) defeats Ivan Jorge (Brazil) via submission (Triangle Choke) in 3:05 Round One.


There’s a lot of talk about Joe Duffy from Donegal and there will continue to be after this fight.

Following a three-year absence from MMA, during which time he went 7-0 as a professional boxer before returning to MMA last August. Since then he notched up an impressive guillotine choke victory over Damien Lapilus, a spectacular flying knee TKO against Julien Boussuge, before scoring a first round TKO against Jake Lindsey in his UFC debut. The signs of steady progression back to being a truly fluid, multi-faceted fighter as opposed to a boxer have been there since the Lindsey fight, but at UFC Glasgow they were underscored in neon italic.

Tonight he transitioned majestically from an attempted takedown to submit, via Triangle choke, a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, MMA veteran of over thirty fights, who has never been submitted before.


Duffy also submitted Ivan Jorge in the first round.

Duffy has beaten some impressive names like Norman Parke and Conor McGregor earlier in his career. While that was a lifetime ago, tonight’s performance and Duffy’s continued momentum will make people take notice. The $50,000 performance bonus Duffy picked up along the way will also help draw eyes towards him.


Duffy cuts a different figure to Conor McGregor and shies away from promotion, call-outs and trash-talk. At the post fight press conference he refused to name an opponent he’d like to face next, but said it would be “a dream come true if I headline Dublin,” walking out to the “Hills of Donegal” as suggested by top MMA interviewer Andrew McGahon.

Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirer were names doing the rounds among the media post fight for a Duffy fight in Dublin for what its worth. Certainly a marquee name fighter such as those two will be needed to test the undoubtedly talented Duffy.

Momentum building for the Hooligan

Flyweight: Paddy Holohan (Ireland) defeats Vaughan Lee (England) via Unanimous Decision


Aside from the Scottish fighters fighting, Dublin’s Paddy Holohan (the world’s biggest tea fan) got the best reception on the card. The SBGi teammate of Conor McGregor came out to a mixture of “On The One Road” by the Wolfe Tones and a predictably loud chorus of “Olé Olé’s” from the travelling Irish support.

“The Hooligan” seemed to have the support of his fellow Celts against Birmingham’s Vaughan Lee. Oddly in the official UFC Glasgow programme it listed Lee’s base proficiencies as “Boxing” and “Jiu Jitsu” with Holohan’s listed as solely “Jiu Jitsu.” While it’s true that Holohan possesses an immense Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game training under John Kavanagh and one of the best, most active and unorthodox guards in MMA, he’s never been a slouch on the feet. This evidenced in his UFC debut a year ago against Josh Sampo, his striking setting up a rear-naked choke that won him the fight that night.


Indeed it was Holohan’s striking that set the tone early on. After Holohan’s trademark entrance scamper around the Octagon, he set to work with a flurry of three leg kicks and then stalked Lee around the ring, using his rangy frame and long reach to hit overhands. When the fight did hit the ground in the first round Holohan’s top class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game and gyrating high guard kept Lee guessing from which angle the next attack was coming from with Holohan attempting a triangle and triangle from mount in the opening round.


In the second round it was much of the same, except for a bright spot for Lee as he positioned Holohan in a dangerous full mount position. Holohan used his near-supernatural flexibility to work his way back to half guard and then side control in an impressive series of transitions to counter.

Holohan ended the second round on top patiently awaiting an armbar attempt that the clock prevented and Lee defended well.

With two clear rounds won, Holohan unleashed his repertoire a bit more in the last round hitting three clean kicks to the body and throwing spinning back kicks, flying knees and spinning elbows.


He finished in top position reigning down elbows on Lee, who offered little offense throughout the fight.

The Dubliner keeps on impressing and improving, with his record in the UFC now 3-1. His sole loss was a Fight of the Night winner in Nova Scotia and somewhat an aberration with Paddy unusually having difficulties with his weight cut and John Kavanagh, his regular coach, in Gunnar Nelson’s corner in the main event Stockholm that clashed the same night.

In his post fight interview Holohan seemingly called out the man who beat Holohan’s fellow Irishman Neil Seery in Las Vegas last week, Louis Smolka. Holohan said he wants to avenge Seery in Dublin in the UFC’s scheduled October card. Smolka has apparently answered:

Tough second album, following tough first album for Redmond Featherweight: Rob Whiteford (Scotland) defeats Paul Redmond (Ireland) via TKO (Punches) 3.04 Round 1 In his spare time away from Team Ryano, Paul Redmond does a bit of DJ-ing so is probably aware of the concept of the difficult second album. You also wouldn’t blame him if he thought he might have got the difficult second album out of the way in his first UFC outing, to use the parlance and strain the metaphor.

Unfortunately Paul Redmond entered the Octagon for the second time and for the second time was given a mammoth challenge. His first fight against prospect, and possible future featherweight contender, Mirsad Bektic was taken at short notice. In spite of a grueling, tortuous 36 pound weight cut at UFC Fight Night: Stockholm, Redser gamely fought on as Bektic secured a deserved one-sided unanimous decision. Bektic ragdolled “Redser” around over three rounds and out-wrestled him.

If Redser thought his next engagement in the Octagon could only be easier after that baptism of fire, he would’ve been mistaken. The Team Ryano Featherweight was tasked with fighting the first Scot to fight in the first ever UFC event in Scotland. As with the preliminaries at UFC Dublin nearly exactly a year ago, the venue was unusually packed for the initial fights and the enthusiastic Scottish crowd made themselves heard. Redmond was greeted by some half-hearted boo’s but his opponent Rob “The Hammer” Whiteford entered to thunderous bagpipes and a standing ovation from a singing Glasgow crowd.

In truth Redmond engaged well and cut off the Octagon by stalking his opponent and may have been winning the round, but Whiteford’s nickname isn’t “The Hammer” for nothing. An out-of-nowhere overhand left sent the Scottish crowd into raptures.

Redmond will be hoping he can get on the Dublin card in October and draw on the kind of support Whiteford had in Glasgow.

Any other business?

It was a mixed bag for the English fighters who co-main evented the event.

10-year UFC veteran Michael Bisping showed resilience and class counter-punching to defeat number 10-ranked middleweight Thales Leites over five hard-fought rounds. At the post-fight conference, in between calling out middleweight rivals for past doping violations, Bisping said he’d “love to be on the Dublin card.” Love him or hate him “The Count” is always entertaining and claims Irish heritage on his mother’s side. This is the first time since 2011 the 36 year-old fighter has put back-to-back victories together so it would be interesting to see him fight in the 3Arena to set up a last attempt at the title.

Bisping’s compatriot Ross Pearson lost to the United States’ Evan Dunham in a fight that sucked the life out of the otherwise hopping SSE Hydro/ Dunham dominated the wrestling exchanges and shut out the Sunderland native.

As mentioned above all the Scottish fighters and the crowd did themselves proud with an electric atmosphere and electric performances and wins from Robert Whiteford, Stevie Ray and Joanne Calderwood.

Irish fan favourite from Sweden Ilir Latifi, winner of UFC Dublin’s Hurling Challenge last year, won his fight with a huge punch in the first round of his preliminary card fight.

All roads now lead to Dublin on October 24th with Michael Bisping, Joe Duffy, Paddy Holohan, Gunnar Nelson and all the Scottish fighters signaling their desire to fight in Ireland in the last week. Of the Irish interest – Nelson, Duffy and Holohan could find themselves amongst the title contenders with wins in Dublin.

Read more: Video: Donegal's Joseph Duffy Thrills With Another Spectacular UFC Victory

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