UFC president Dana White. AP Photo/Gregory Payan
Choke Park

Dana White: We're going to need McGregor and Duffy to do Croke Park

The UFC boss has high hopes for his two biggest Irish stars.

IT’S WELL KNOWN by now that Dana White is fond of Conor McGregor, but the UFC interim featherweight champion isn’t the only Irishman among the UFC president’s favourite employees.

White has been speaking very highly of Joe Duffy to ahead of this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 76 main event between the Donegal native and Dustin Poirier at Dublin’s 3Arena.

Duffy is highly rated by the UFC boss, but that has nothing to do with his first-round submission victory over McGregor back in 2010. Duffy’s skills are diverse but his striking game is flawless, according to White.

He said: “I don’t even point to Duffy beating Conor because they fought a long time ago when they were younger. I look at Duffy now. Duffy today is a well-rounded, explosive finisher — a guy whose stand-up is literally perfect.”

The UFC are understood to be planning for Conor McGregor to fight at Croke Park next year. Duffy is also keen to compete at GAA headquarters, and White believes that both fighters will need to feature on the card in order to make such an event a success.

“To do Croke Park we’re going to need Conor and Duffy to do that one,” White said. “I think it’s incredible that these guys want to fight there. I think it’s incredible that the fans want it so bad and I want it as bad as they want it too.”

White also acknowledged that Duffy is in for an extremely tough challenge against Poirier this weekend, with a win likely to secure him a place in the top 15 rankings.

The UFC president said: “This is a really good test for Duffy because Dustin Poirier looks great at 155 [lbs]. He said he feels stronger, healthier, and he’s been on a tear at 155. It’s a big fight for both guys.”

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