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Duffy has UFC title in his sights as he heads to Madison Square Garden

The Donegal-born lightweight returns to the octagon this Saturday night for UFC 217 in New York.

HAVING FOUGHT TWICE last year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Joseph Duffy is no stranger to being involved in big occasions with the UFC.

However, the Donegal native will experience the biggest night of his career this Saturday when he competes at Madison Square Garden for his UFC 217 clash with James Vick.

_ANY5539 Joseph Duffy training at Tristar in Montreal, Canada. Source: Andy Cowan

After resolving his contract impasse and signing a new seven-fight deal with the UFC, Duffy (17-2) will hope that a win over Vick (11-1) this weekend can catapult him into the rankings in the lightweight division, where Conor McGregor is the reigning champion.

Having bounced back from his January 2016 loss to Dustin Poirier by comfortably seeing off the challenges of Mitch Clarke and Reza Madadi, Duffy believes he’s ready to make a push towards the 155-pound title picture. His plan is to have a UFC belt around his waist before his new contract expires.

“Within the seven fights, I would like to have the title by then,” he said. “I’d like to have the title halfway through it, to be honest. Within the seven fights I believe I can be there fighting for the title or have the title.”

Ahead of UFC 217, Andy Cowan was present for The42 for Duffy’s media scrum at Tristar gym in Montreal, where the 29-year-old has been based since 2015.

He also discussed the significance of fighting at an iconic venue like Madison Square Garden, his new UFC contract, the challenge he’ll face against James Vick, the prospect of fighting in Ireland, and what should be next for lightweight champion Conor McGregor.

Watch the scrum below…

Source: The42.ie/YouTube

Featuring three title fights, UFC 217 takes place this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. BT Sport will air the action live for viewers in Ireland, with the early prelims available via UFC Fight Pass.

Michael Bisping defends his middleweight belt against ex-welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who’s returning from a four-year absence. Former team-mates will collide when bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt puts his title on the line against TJ Dillashaw. Before that, women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk faces Rose Namajunas.

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