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‘This is just the beginning’ – Joseph Duffy

Much is expected of the UFC’s latest Irish recruit but he says he’s ready to deliver.

Duffy signing his UFC contract today in London.
Duffy signing his UFC contract today in London.

JOSEPH DUFFY MAY not have made his UFC debut just yet, but Irish lightweight is already planning for a long and successful career with MMA’s biggest promotion.

As revealed by TheScore.ie on Wednesday, Duffy’s next fight will be in the UFC after he signed a lucrative multi-fight contract, with his first octagon appearance scheduled for March or April.

Speaking exclusively in his first interview as a UFC fighter, the 26-year-old explained that his goal has always been to be the world’s best, and now he has the opportunity to achieve that.

“I think I’m only starting to get into my groove, and once I do, I feel like there’s no stopping me all the way to the belt,” said Duffy, who’s a native of Burtonport in Donegal.

“Going to the UFC is what I’ve been working towards for my whole life. It’s a dream come true. It’s not sinking in properly at the minute. I just can’t wait to get to work.”

Duffy’s 12-1 record includes ten first-round victories, two of which have come against current UFC stars Conor McGregor and Norman Parke.

Duffy was overtaken by his fellow Irishmen while he took a break from MMA to focus on boxing, but if rematches are on the cards further down the line, he won’t say no.

“I’ll take it one fight at a time for now, but if that’s what the UFC want then that’s what I’ll do. I won’t have any problem with that.”

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Duffy only returned to mixed martial arts last August following a three-year hiatus, during which he put together a 7-0 record as a promising professional boxer.

There was a lot of expectation on Duffy’s shoulders when he announced his decision to come back to MMA. Two impressive wins and a UFC contract later, he appears to have handled that pressure pretty well.

“Coming back to MMA was a big decision and it’s a massive relief that things have turned out this way,” Duffy said. “I’m glad I’m on the right track in terms of fulfilling my potential. This is just the beginning.”

– First published 22.50, 7 Jan

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Paul Dollery

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