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Duffy announces retirement after UFC loss: 'I haven’t got what it takes anymore'

The 32-year-old Donegal man was beaten by Joel Alvarez via submission at UFC Fight Night 172.

Joseph Duffy (left) suffered a first-round submission defeat to Joel Alvarez in Abu Dhabi overnight.
Joseph Duffy (left) suffered a first-round submission defeat to Joel Alvarez in Abu Dhabi overnight.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

IRISH FIGHTER JOSEPH Duffy says he has officially retired from mixed martial arts. 

The 32-year-old Donegal native made the announcement in a social media post overnight after losing to Joel Alvarez at UFC Fight Night 172 in Abu Dhabi.

Duffy was beaten via first-round submission (guillotine choke) on a card that saw Deiveson Figueiredo win the vacant flyweight title – also by submission in the first round (rear-naked choke) – at the expense of Joseph Benavidez.

Following his third consecutive defeat, Duffy has decided to bring the curtain down on a professional MMA career that began back in 2008.

He has been troubled by a complicated rib problem recently, which meant that last night’s bout was his first competitive outing in 16 months.

Duffy spoke of having “a new lease of life” ahead of the fight, but unfortunately for the Montreal-based lightweight, that wasn’t manifested in the outcome.

He looked comfortable in the early striking exchanges, but then ran into trouble by shooting for a takedown which Alzarez capitalised on to force his opponent to tap out.

“I felt great all through [training] camp and even warming up. I believed I was back to my former self,” he said in his statement. “Then, when I went in there, it just falls to pieces. I think it’s time to realise that I haven’t got what it takes anymore.”

Duffy (16-5), who previously had a short stint in professional boxing, was signed by the UFC after impressing with European organisation Cage Warriors, where he recorded a submission win over Conor McGregor when both fighters were in the early stages of their careers.

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His time with the UFC got off to a promising start, with first-round wins against Jake Lindsey and Ivan Jorge earning him a headline slot against Dustin Poirier.

After being postponed due to Duffy sustaining a concussion in training, the fight later took place in Las Vegas. Poirier, a future title challenger, won by unanimous decision to give the Irishman just the second defeat of his professional career.

He rebounded in emphatic fashion by overcoming Mitch Clarke and Reza Madadi. However, losses against James Vick and Marc Diakiese were followed by last night’s defeat to Joel Alvarez.

Joe Duffy (25) Duffy pictured after beating Mitch Clarke in 2016. Source: Tommy Lakes/The42

Duffy said: “Thank you all so much for all your messages of support all week. I have been blessed on this journey in MMA and am truly grateful for every experience.

“Congrats to Joel Alvarez and thank you to the UFC for all the opportunities. I’m sorry I didn’t achieve what I set out to achieve for my fans, family, friends and myself, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

“I am officially retiring from MMA competition.”

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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