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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 28 May, 2020

Joseph Duffy comes up short in a thrilling battle with Dustin Poirier

The Donegal fighter suffered just the second defeat of his career and his first in the UFC.


THERE WAS DISAPPOINTMENT for Joseph Duffy (14-2) tonight at UFC 195 when he suffered a unanimous-decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) defeat to Dustin Poirier (19-4).

A hugely entertaining three-round contest at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas ended with a comprehensive loss for the Donegal native on the scorecards, with the judges awarding Poirier his third win on the trot since his 2014 loss to Conor McGregor.

Poirier’s third consecutive victory since his move up to the lightweight division should be enough to move him into the top 10 in the 155lbs rankings, whereas Duffy will need to rebuild after tasting defeat in the UFC for the first time, having picked up two first-round wins in 2015.

The scores might suggest that it was a one-sided contest but Duffy certainly had his moments, particularly in the first round. Both fighters exchanged shots early on but Duffy — a former professional boxer — landed the cleaner blows, which led to Poirier sustaining a broken and extremely bloodied nose.

At one point Duffy rocked Poirier and forced him up against the fence before unloading, but the American fighter was able to withstand the onslaught.

Aware that the Irishman was edging the stand-up battle, Poirier secured a takedown three minutes into the opening frame and controlled the remainder of the round from there. He also landed a big elbow to ensure that the judges gave him the nod.

Poirier succeeded with another takedown early in the second round and although Duffy was aggressive off his back, the American Top Team product was absolutely dominant. He caused a lot of damage and landed some heavy ground-and-pound so it was no surprise that one judge saw it as a 10-8 round.

Heading into the final round, Duffy knew that he needed a finish but both fighters’ gas tanks were clearly beginning to dry up. Duffy aimed to pick Poirier off with punches but Poirier was able to get the fight down again with just a minute on the clock.

Duffy eventually scrambled and attempted a heel-hook, but Poirier escaped and moved back into guard before the referee stood the fight up due to inactivity. Once again Poirier scored a takedown but Duffy managed to find an opening when he attacked with a triangle attempt late on, but it was too little, too late as Poirier was saved by the bell to seal a thoroughly deserved win.

“My nose is crushed, for sure,” said Poirier afterwards. “When I touch it, it feels like a broken lightbulb. I didn’t want to make it a boring fight by grinding it out but I couldn’t breathe at all. Joe hit me with a lot of punches. He had a lot of volume but not a lot of power.”

Ireland’s Artem Lobov booked to fight at UFC 196 in Las Vegas

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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