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Duffy Injured, Pulled From UFC Dublin Card

Joe Duffy UFC

The UFC’s return to Dublin sold out in under a minute. The main card fell apart just as quickly, so it seems.

UFC Fight Night 76 will go on without its originally scheduled main event featuring Irish star Joseph Duffy and Dustin Poirier, after Duffy suffered a mild concussion while training this week, the UFC announced Wednesday.

The event will now be headlined by Dublin’s own Paddy Holohan, as the Irish flyweight takes on Louis Smolka in a three-round affair.

The card took a blow last week, as Dublin’s co-headliners were also removed from the card. Heavyweight title contender Stipe Miocic was forced off of the card due to injury, effectively removing fellow surging heavyweight Ben Rothwell from the card as well.

Folks who purchased tickets for the Dublin card can request a refund.

The UFC said in a statement:

“The health and safety of UFC athletes will continue to be the top priority for the organization. As such, UFC has respected standard athletic commission regulations, which recommend a medical suspension from competition as a result of the concussion.”

Holohan comes into the bout having won two straight. At 12-1, “The Hooligan” suffered his first professional defeat at the hands of Chris Kelades at UFC Fight Night 54 in 2014. Since then, he’s reeled off back-to-back victories against Shane Howell and Vaughan Lee.

Smolka also comes in with a two-fight winning streak intact, with his only professional loss coming in the shape of a split decision to former title contender Chris Cariaso last May.

Poirier, Duffy’s original opponent, will be rescheduled for a bout at a later date.

As expected, fellow Irish fighting sensation Conor McGregor took to social media to try and save the Dublin event. Despite being scheduled to face Jose Aldo for the featherweight title at UFC 194 on Dec. 12, McGregor is again making his case to be featured on the promotion’s annual trip to Dublin. Regardless of what efforts McGregor may be making to salvage the event, there’s likely no chance the UFC risks its most valuable fighter here.

McGregor is referencing Poirier when mentioning “peanut,” as the two squared off last September in a highly anticipated featherweight matchup at UFC 178. The two had a war of words before their bout that ended in a first-round TKO finish for McGregor, in what was widely considered the first real test for the Irish striking savant.

As the “Notorious” one referenced, the gate for the Irish show was popularized largely based on his massive success inside the Octagon, showcasing what a hot bed the green, white and orange nation is for top-level mixed martial arts. His first major show in Dublin reportedly sold out in three minutes, while Duffy’s first headliner sold out in fraction of that — something McGregor is obviously taking credit for as well.

McGregor also took to Twitter to reopen his criticisms over his fellow countryman for taking advantage of the undeniable growth in Irish mixed martial arts, claiming Duffy’s not quite as devoted to his home soil as McGregor is.

(Warning: Tweet contains NSFW language)

Known as the last man to defeat McGregor, “Irish Joe” Duffy actually trains alongside Rory MacDonald and Georges St-Pierre out of Tristar MMA in Montreal — a fact McGregor has taken exception to.

 

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