Duffy living up to the hype and 4 more UFC Glasgow talking points

There’s plenty to discuss after the UFC’s first visit to Scotland.

– Paul Dollery reports from Glasgow

Redmond deserves another opportunity

inpho_00920443 (1) Things didn't go according to plan for Paul Redmond. ©INPHO / Gary Carr ©INPHO / Gary Carr / Gary Carr

Paul Redmond had no excuses for his defeat to Robert Whiteford but he was slightly unlucky to be caught by Whiteford’s big left hook as the pair traded shots. Both were landing but Whiteford’s precision made the difference.

Redmond was concerned beforehand that another defeat in his second outing might spell the end of his time with the organisation. Should that prove to be the case, it’ll be a harsh cut for the Team Ryano man.

He shed an enormous amount of weight in the space of a fortnight for his short-notice debut against Mirsad Bektic — a highly-regarded American prospect who failed to put a below-par Redmond away.

He may not have made it out of the first round against Whiteford but Redmond did enough to show that he’s a fighter who comes to entertain. Winning is the priority, but he won’t hold back in the pursuit of doing so.

The UFC will be in Redmond’s hometown of Dublin on 24 October — the perfect opportunity for him to show that he’s worthy of a place on the UFC roster. An opportunity he deserves.

Holohan wants Smolka next

After a dominant win over Vaughan Lee, Paddy Holohan sent out a message to Louis Smolka — the American flyweight who overcame Holohan’s fellow Dubliner Neil Seery last weekend at UFC 189 in Las Vegas. Holohan wants his next outing to be against Smolka when the UFC returns to Dublin’s 3Arena on 24 October. Smolka also seems keen on the bout. He took to Twitter almost immediately to let Holohan know just as much too.

If the pair do square off, Smolka will present an interesting test of Holohan’s credentials as a serious contender in the flyweight division. The 24-year-old Hawaiian looks an extremely promising prospect and his grappling was very smooth against Seery seven days ago.

It’s in the grappling stakes where Holohan is most comfortable too, although it’ll be a concern that he gave up his back to Vaughan Lee a little too easily, which saw the Tallaght native caught in a rear-naked choke towards the end of first round.

Holohan is now 3-1 as a UFC fighter — a very solid record in the 125lbs division — so he’s on the cusp of the rankings. A win over an opponent like Smolka might be just what’s required to nudge him into the upper echelons of the division.

Holohan versus Smolka is a match-up that we’re certainly in favour of. Let’s hope UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby feels the same.

Is there any room left on the Joseph Duffy hype train?

inpho_00916541 There's a hype train careering through the UFC and Joseph Duffy is the driver. ©INPHO / Cathal Noonan ©INPHO / Cathal Noonan / Cathal Noonan

Tougher tests await this man in the octagon but it’s difficult not to get carried away by his potential. This time in 2014, Duffy hadn’t competed in an MMA bout for three years. This evening at UFC Glasgow, he scored his fourth win in the space of a year and the third on the trot in the first round.

There’s no escaping the fact that Duffy’s status as the last man to beat Conor McGregor has raised his profile, but the Donegal native continues to prove that he deserves recognition regardless of his connection to the interim UFC featherweight champion.

Duffy returned to MMA last year after an unbeaten seven-fight spell as a professional boxer, which simply added to his already-extensive arsenal. In his second coming, the 27-year-old has earned a reputation as a striker. However, the majority of his career wins have come by submission and he got another one against Ivan Jorge.

With Duffy dominant on the feet, Jorge — a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt — tried to take the fight to the ground. No problem for Joseph Duffy, who immediately locked in a triangle choke to secure the win.

Duffy can expect a tougher test at UFC Dublin in October. Perhaps it’s too soon for him to be paired with a ranked opponent but he’s certainly capable of making a significant step-up on what he’s faced so far. Training at Tristar in Montreal is clearly helping an extremely talented fighter to improve. The future is very bright.

Bisping isn’t giving up hope of a title shot just yet

Thales Leites didn’t make it easy for Michael Bisping in tonight’s main event, but one judge’s decision to give the fight to the Brazilian was a little unusual. It looked like a 49-46 — 48-47 at best — in favour of Bisping, but the key point from the English veteran’s perspective is that he has now won back-to-back fights for the first time since 2011.

After 10 years with the organsisation, is he likely to ever become the UFC’s middleweight champion? It’s difficult to see it happening. However, by no means has he given up hope. Next up in the middleweight title picture is champion Chris Weidman versus Luke Rockhold, but Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza are also waiting patiently ahead of Bisping in the queue.

Bisping called all four of them out after tonight’s win. He’s had so many setbacks on his route to the top of the middleweight division which ultimately may cost him. If he never manages to get there, it won’t be for the want of trying.

Scotland was worth the wait

_MG_1881 Joanne Calderwood returned to winning ways. Dolly Clew Dolly Clew

The UFC’s inaugural visit to Scotland was a long time coming but for a first dip into the market, the promotion couldn’t have asked for much more. In truth, the card was far from exceptional but that mattered little in the end.

An electric atmosphere in a superb arena that was made for MMA. Spectacular first-round finishes. Well-matched battles that went the distance. And, of course, an undefeated 3-0 run for the home fighters. It was a perfect start for the UFC in Scotland.

Robert Whiteford won courtesy of a tasty left hook, Joanne Calderwood rallied after a difficult start and Stevie Ray took his UFC record to 2-0 by dismantling Leonardo Mafra. The Irish invasion at the summit of the UFC could be about to get some back-up from its celtic cousins.

All aboard! The Joseph Duffy hype train just gathered more momentum

Paddy Holohan dominates Vaughan Lee for his third UFC victory

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