Sunday 4 December 2016

Heartache for Ireland's Joseph Duffy as he suffers first UFC loss against Dustin Poirier

Published 03/01/2016 | 01:20

Since his return to MMA Joseph Duffy had looked nothing short of brilliant. At UFC 195 though, he ran into his toughest challenge and came up short.

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Duffy started well, looking sharp in the striking and probably broke Poirier's nose in some of the early exchanges. However, the crafty American figured he'd lose a shoot out on the feet and towards the end of the first round opted to shut down Joe's attacks with takedown and top control.

The second was a big round for Poirier as he got the takedown early and used top control to smother Duffy while landing big elbows. The third was more of the same and while the scorecards were probably fair at 30-26, and two 30-27s, Duffy was more in the fight than these numbers would reflect.

Prior to the fight Duffy was on a collision course with both the UFC lightweight division top 10 rankings and a rematch with Conor McGregor. It's safe to say both of those will be put on hold for a while.

One loss does not make Duffy a bad fighter. He got out game-planned tonight and there's no doubt takedown defence will feature in his training program in the coming months. His hands and head movement were on point but struggled to shift his feet and hips quick enough to prevent the takedowns.

It's not quite back to the drawing board but it's certainly taken a some wind out of the Joe Duffy sails.

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