Monday 26 September 2016

“I’ll fight in a car park if it was for the UFC” – Paul Redmond hoping for Dublin call-up

Published 21/08/2015 | 15:46

UFC Dublin has edged another week closer and the fight card is almost complete. There are currently four fighters from this island paired against international opposition. Time may be running out for the few ‘Fighting Irish’ who haven’t been matched.

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Team Ryano’s Paul Redmond is one such fighter who would naturally love to fight in his home town but as yet has not received the call.

While many are quick to lament his tough road since signing with the UFC, the Donaghmede man remains philosophical about the whole experience.

In his last outing at UFC Glasgow, Redmond was looking good till a left hand from the hard hitting Robert Whiteford dropped him to the mat. It was a flash knock out and referee Mark Goddard acted appropriately and called off the fight.

Even though his UFC record now stands at a disappointing 0-2, ‘Redser’ is not getting down.

Having been left drained by a gruelling weight cut for his short notice UFC debut, Paul tipped the scales at the featherweight limit of 145lbs, not needing the 1lb tolerance fighters are allowed. But despite the preparation going perfectly Paul realised the world of a fighter is balanced on a knife edge– “I felt great in the fight right up until I got clipped it was just one of those things”.

The tough debut in January didn’t cause any concern for the Dublin prospect. All he wanted to do was get in again and prove what he could do.

“When Mark God said go, I didn’t flinch I just ran at the guy and I thought I had him on the back foot and was clipping him well up until the left hand” Paul recalled about UFC Glasgow.

Rather than put it down to bad luck, the Team Ryano fighter has reviewed the fight to find out what went wrong.

“I’ve watched the fight back a few times I probably was dropping my right hand a little bit too much and looking for the wrong punch. I kept looking for the right uppercut, which I did catch him but it’s probably not the sort of punch you should throw for a southpaw” Paul explained.

The critics might argue that he wasn’t ready or his debut was rushed because of an injury to another fighter. The apologists might say he’s been unlucky and has been given the hardest road of the Irish fighters.

Paul would rather be objective and accept ‘it is what it is’ – “The Bektic camp was on two weeks but the rest of it is on me. I got my full camp (for the last fight) so I’ve no qualms there, the rest of its on me. If I don’t perform or come out with a loss that’s on me, I can’t blame the UFC or anyone that’s on me.”

The mental game in MMA is crucially important and often the downfall of a fighter who lets the outside world into his head. Fighters have quit the sport because of the pressures associated with competing in hand to hand combat. There are no team mates to cover for you or there’s not an expansive pitch to hide in during parts of the contest. The manner of your wins and losses are more visible than in any other sport.

Fighters must constantly ask themselves ‘am I good enough’ and only they can answer the question.

Paul is adamant he’s good enough. All he need’s is time and opportunities to prove it.

Relive some of Paul’s finest moments while competing in Cage Warriors

“I’ve been asked how I compare to Paul Redmond that was in Cage Warriors, and genuinely, I’d go through him for a short cut. My grappling and striking has come on leaps and bounds, it’s not that I’m not putting the training in, I’m putting more hours in. It’s just you’re fighting world class guys. But I do believe I’m up there and I do believe I have a helluva of a lot more to show.”

Paul is focused on getting another fight. It would be nice if that was in the 3Arena but he’s not prepared to hang his hat on making that card – “I’d love to get on it (UFC Dublin) but as I’ve said in a number of interviews I’ll fight anyone in a car park where ever if it was for the UFC and that’s genuine, I’d make weight and fight whoever. I’d like to get a time frame and a card with my name is attached to so I have something to look forward to so I can put a plan in place.”

Throughout the interview its clear Paul is happy with his lot. A natural born competitor, he’s enjoying his time in the world’s largest MMA promotion. Rather than worry about ‘what’s next?’ he’s thankful that in his brief MMA career he’s achieved more than many fighters spend a lifetime chasing.

“I have to pinch myself when I’m at the regional shows in Ireland because it wasn’t that long ago that I was on bottom or the lower end of those cards. I’ve only been training seven years with Andy in Team Ryano; that’s my whole MMA experience. So, to get where I am and to get into the UFC in such a short space of time… Everyone still remembers me from the regional shows and I just look around and think that was me in there not so long ago.”

 

UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: POIRIER vs. DUFFY fight card to date includes

* Main Event | Lightweight:- Dustin Poirier v Joseph Duffy

* Co-Main Event | Heavyweight:- Stipe Miocic v Ben Rothwell

* Welterweight:- Nicolas Dalby v Darren Till

* Flyweight:- Patrick Holohan v Louis Smolka

* Lightweight:- Norman Parke v Reza Madadi

* Lightweight:- Stevie Ray v Mickael Lebout

* Middleweight:- Scott Askham v Krzysztof Jotko

* Welterweight:- Cathal Pendred v Tom Breese

* Middleweight:- Bubba Bush v Garreth McLellan

 

Tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: POIRIER vs. DUFFY will go on sale to UFC FIGHT CLUB® members at 10:00 a.m. IST on Wednesday September 2, with Sun+ subscribers also getting priority access from 12:00 p.m. IST.

Tickets will become available to UFC Newsletter subscribers on Friday September 4 at 10:00 a.m. IST with general sale taking place from 12:00pm IST.

Fans are encouraged to visit this LINK to register their interest in tickets and receive information about the event.

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