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Irish fighter released by UFC following back-to-back losses


Paul Redmondhas been released by the UFC. Picture credit: David Fogarty / SPORTSFILE

Paul Redmondhas been released by the UFC. Picture credit: David Fogarty / SPORTSFILE

Paul Redmondhas been released by the UFC. Picture credit: David Fogarty / SPORTSFILE

Dubliner Paul Redmond has been let go by the UFC after losing his first two bouts with the promotion.

Redmond was informed by UFC bosses yesterday that they would be prematurely terminating his three-fight contract, which he signed at the beginning of the year.

The 29-year-old, who is a stable mate of Neil Seery at Team Ryano MMA, made his promotional debut at UFC on Fox 14 on January 24 in Stockholm, where he lost a unanimous decision to the undefeated Mirsad Bektíc.

However, Redmond - like some many fighters on the brink of the UFC - took the bout on just two weeks’ notice at featherweight (145lbs), a division he had never competed in.

The submission specialist had fought at lightweight (155lbs.) for the vast majority of career, and the meeting with Bektíc required him to drop close to 40 lbs. over a 10 day period.

The endeavour proved unsuccessful as Redmond came in three pounds over the requisite limit; clearly depleted, the Finglas native was man-handled by his Bosnian foe.

Then, on July 18, he was matched with local favourite Robert Whiteford at UFC Fight Night 72 in Glasgow, who knocked Redmond out in the first round.

The tacit understanding between the UFC and their fighters is a long established one; lose three consecutive fights and chances are you’ll be unemployed in the near future. It’s by no means a copper-fastened approach and there have been plenty of exceptions.

Athletes can be given stays of execution in the same vain as Dan Hardy and Gray Maynard have been or, like in Redmond’s case, a third fight is never presented to them.

He had been hopeful of receiving one last chance to prove his worth at the UFC’s Dublin show last month, but the call never came and Redmond instead helped corner flyweight Seery who earned a $50k Performance of the Night bonus by submitting John Delos Ryes in the second stanza.

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Prior to arriving in the UFC, Redmond made a name for himself as one of the European circuit's most exciting fighters as a lightweight in the Cage Warriors promotion. Leading up to the bout with Bektíc, he had won seven of his previous eight fights, with six of those coming inside the distance.

In the aftermath of his loss to Whiteford, the man they call ‘Redser’ received little contact from the UFC, though campaigned heavily for another crack in the octagon, preferably at his natural weight class.

He also spent time in Montreal’s famed Tristar Gym with the likes of Joe Duffy and Tom Breese. The UFC are big on second chances, so if Redmond can put together another string of wins in the near future, there’s no reason to suggest he won’t be back at MMA’s top table.

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