Talk to Joe

Drug-testing policy played a part in Duffy's decision to stay with the UFC

The Donegal native has ended uncertainty over his future by signing a new UFC contract.

Joe Duffy (34) Tommy Lakes / The42 Tommy Lakes / The42 / The42

JOSEPH DUFFY HAS expressed his satisfaction over his new deal with the UFC and says he’s now keen to test himself against some of the top contenders in the lightweight division.

Having won four of his five fights with the Ultimate Fighting Championship after signing with the organisation in January 2015, there was uncertainty over Duffy’s future after his contract expired following his victory over Reza Madadi in London in March.

In spite of significant interest from elsewhere, however, the Donegal native penned a new seven-fight contract with the UFC last week.

“It’s a great deal. I’m very happy with the deal,” he told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “It’s around about what I was looking for and I’m happy that we got a deal done.”

Bellator, the UFC’s main rival, offered Duffy a deal that would guarantee him more money up front, but the UFC’s contract was made more attractive by additional win bonuses.

The 29-year-old was also swayed by the existence of a strict drug-testing policy within the UFC, which is overseen by the United States Anti-Doping Agency [USADA].

He said: “They [Bellator] made a good offer. It was a different kind of offer to the UFC’s — it was more of a flat-rate offer. But I just felt that with the UFC offer, there wasn’t much difference between them. But I feel the UFC is the place for me right now.

“Obviously with the USADA programme too, it’s something I’m really for. All these factors came into play. But I feel the offer I got from the UFC was really good, and that was it. I’m not a greedy man. Once I got a good offer, I’m just looking forward to getting busy now.”

Joe Duffy (11) Tommy Lakes / The42 Tommy Lakes / The42 / The42

The first fight on Duffy’s new deal hasn’t yet been scheduled, but he’s eager to take on the elite in the 155lbs division when the time comes.

“I want to challenge myself now. Obviously there are guys at the top who I’d love to fight. I’d love to test myself against the likes of Khabib [Nurmagomedov], Tony Ferguson and all those guys,” Duffy said

“Maybe a bit further down the rankings, there’s guys like Michael Johnson, he’s always in exciting fights; Al Iaquinta, James Vick is doing well, he’s up there. There’s lots of fights. It’s always exciting fights I’d like to be involved in.”

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