Tuesday 20 February 2018

Mixed night for Irish fighters at UFC Glasgow

Paddy Holohan was in action in Scotland last night, where he defeated Vaughan Lee in a decision victory.
Paddy Holohan was in action in Scotland last night, where he defeated Vaughan Lee in a decision victory.
Fergus Ryan

Fergus Ryan

After 15 previous visits to the UK, the UFC broke ground in Scotland for the first time last night. Similar to UFC Dublin last July, the event was an overwhelming success for Scottish MMA.

The event sold out and every seat was filled by the time the card kicked off. The local fans weren't disappointed as their Scottish fighters went undefeated on the night.

Irish MMA had a mixed night with two wins from three. First up was Paul Redmond, who was looking to bounce back from a tough UFC debut in January. It started well, with Redmond coming in bang on the 145lbs featherweight limit having missed weight in Sweden.

Once the fight began Redmond pressed the action and seemed willing to tackle local fighter Robert Whiteford head on. Both fighters landed in striking exchanges and 'Redser' also mixed in a few takedown attempts as well.

Midway through the first round Whiteford timed a nice counter as Redmond stepped in to throw some punches. The Irishman fell and the Scot capitalised. The referee had seen enough. Though the stoppage looked a little rushed it was justified as Redmond confirmed afterwards the incident was a blur.

Paddy Holohan was next up for the Irish. He fought Vaughan Lee to a decision victory. In truth, Lee didn't seem too interested in the contest. With the exception of the final phase of round one, Lee was happy to retreat and evade rather than fight.

Holohan is now 3-1 as a UFC flyweight and poised to crack vaunted top 15. In his post fight interview the Tallaght native called out Louis Smolka, who recently beat Neil Seery at UFC 189.

'Irish' Joe Duffy turned in another superb performance en route to a first round submission victory.

Duffy looked relaxed as ever and seemed to be a step ahead of Ivan Jorge even though he probably didn't get out of third gear. He landed punches and knees with success before Jorge shot in for the takedown.  The Brazilian's aggressive move was the beginning of the end.

By the time the fighters had reached the mat, Duffy had worked himself into position to cinch in a triangle choke. Duffy's execution was so perfect that Jorge was defenceless and no option but to tap out.

Duffy has shown he not only possess killer stand-up, but can finish fights on the mat too. He should start to get sterner tests in the UFC's ultra competitive lightweight division; the outcome will probably be similar.

Elsewhere on the Stevie Ray and Joanne Calderwood turned in excellent performances to add to Whiteford's earlier victory.

Calderwood  weathered an early storm to bounce back and take a decision victory over short notice replacement Courtney Casey.

Highly touted Calderwood lost her UFC debut in April but made a real statement in beating a gritty Casey ,who despite not having adequate time to prepare battling hard as she could for all fifteen minutes.

Stevie Ray showed superb poise and execution to get a first round TKO against Leonardo Mafra.

Having stunned Mafra, Ray stalked him around the Octagon, picking his shots well to force the referee to end the contest.

It was also a mixed night for the English fighters with two wins and two loses.

Leon Edwards took and decision victory after Lee's earlier loss. Ross Pearson lost a thoroughly entertaining scrap with Evan Dunham. In the main event Michael Bisping out-pointed  tough Brazilian Thales Leites.

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