Sunday 8 December 2019

Irish UFC star Cathal Pendred: 'It wasn’t too long ago I hadn’t a bean in my pocket and just a dream'

Fergus Ryan

UFC star Cathal Pendred has revealed he’s enjoying his ultimate fighting career so much as it “wasn’t too long ago I hadn’t a bean in my pocket”.

The fighter, who beat Mike King in Dublin in July, said that the reason he and fellow Dublin star Conor McGregor can still remember having no money and dreaming of competing in the UFC.

It’s now seven weeks since the first UFC event was held in Dublin. UFC executives gushed about the Irish fans in the post-fight press conference. The raucous crowd transferred well as UFC fighters from all over the world texted UFC president Dana White, asking to be included in any future UFC Dublin events.

Commercially, UFC Dublin justified its first trip to Ireland in five years. All 9,000 tickets for were sold three minutes after after being put on general release. The pre-fight weigh-in attracted 5,000 fans. And UFC Dublin is the most watched event on the UFC’s digital platform, Fight Pass.

From an Irish perspective the event could not have gone better. All five Irish fighters that competed on the night came away with impressive victories. This was the first UFC event ever screened on free-to-air TV in Ireland and over 600,000 viewers tuned in to 3e.

On that historic night in July, four fighters from John Kavanagh’s Straight Blast Gym (3 Irish, 1 Icelandic) competed and won on the night. All four men will be in action again in the coming weeks.

Conor McGregor continues his spectacular rise with a fight against Dustin Poirier on 27th September in Las Vegas.

A week later, 4 October, Icelander Gunnar Nelson takes another step towards a UFC title fight if he can beat American Rick Story in Sweden. On the same fight card, Dubliner Cathal Pendred will look to double his UFC wins in his second fight.

On the same night over in Canada Paddy Holohan also looks to add to his UFC wins after a victorious debut in Dublin.

Independent.ie caught up with Gunnar, Cathal and Paddy during a training session this week at SBG Ireland on the Naas Road in Dublin.

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