Saturday October 24, 2015– The UFC made their return to Dublin Ireland, and with a huge card in mind it couldn’t have gone worse for the top MMA industry in the business. With the main event being Dustin Poirer (18-4) vs home town fighter Joe Duffy (14-1) being canceled last second due to Duffy suffering an injury. The Main event being canceled was just another complication added to the already big list of fights being canceled for this event, as the co main event was supposed to be a heavyweight bout as top ranked contender Stipe Miocic (13-2) was taking on Ben Rothwell (35-9), but Miocic had to pull out just weeks before the fight with an injury. The UFC knew it was next bout up and did what they do best and hyped up the new main event. With another one of Irelands hometown hero’s Paddy Holohan (12-1-1) was set to take on Louis Smolka (9-1). Even though the event had a cloud over it the Irish fans packed the 3Arena and were louder than ever. A packed fight card and a new main event the warriors of the UFC put on one hell of a show.
The prelims kicked off with the middleweights as Garreth McLellan (11-3) took on Bubba Bush (8-3), McLellen with a 3rd round last second TKO victory, the 2nd bout featured the featherweights as Rob Whiteford (12-2) took on Darren Elkins (19-5), after going the distance Elkins pulls out the unanimous decision. Next up in the 3rd bout the welterweights took center stage as undefeated fighter Tom Breese (8-0) took on Cathal Pendred (17-4-1), Breese with a TKO finish in the first round. In the 4th bout middleweight Scott Askham (13-1) took on Krzysztof Jotko (15-1), these two men put on a battle a true war, and after going the distance the winner by split decision Krzysztof Jotko. Next up in the only women’s bout of the night in the strawweight division Aisling Daly (15-5) took on Ericka Almeida (7-1), after going the distance and another brutal war that these two women put on the winner by unanimous decision the hometown hero Aisling Daly. With the battles just continuing to go on and on the final prelim bout in the lightweight division Stevie Ray (18-5) took on Mickael Lebout (14-1-1), after going the distance the winner by unanimous decision Stevie Ray. With the main card beginning with 4 bouts and kicking off in the flyweight division Neil Seery (15-11) took on Jon Delos Reyes (8-4), in the 2nd round a devastating guillotine seals the victory for hometown hero Neil Seery. In the 2nd bout on the main card a welterweight contest between undefeated fighters Nicolas Dalby (14-0) and Darren Till (13-0), after going the distance in a hell of a fight the judges saw the fight right down the middle and it is a draw, and both fighters remain undefeated.
Co Main Event Lightweight Division
Norman Parke (21-4-1) Vs Reza Madadi (13-3)
In the new co main event the lightweights went to battle as Norman Parke and Reza Madadi were set up to take the ball as they were the new co main event and that is exactly what they did. As the first round began both men started out with the feeling out process, showing respect for one another making sure every move they make is the right one. Parke started out as the aggressor by working Madadi in the clench on the cage, they break and continue to throw strikes. As the first round came to an end both fighters threw some significant strikes and finished the round in the center of the octagon. The 2nd round began with Parke continue to be the aggressor throwing some combos and a keg kick early on to keep Madadi on his toes, Madadi takes a shot and lands it attempting to take Parkes back. As Parke escapes he works his way into a clench as the round wore on Parke continued to work his strikes and take control of the fight, but some tough take down defense of Madadi kept the fight close going into the 3rd round. The final round began with both fighters winded from beating the hell out of each other, as the round wore on both fighters continue to throw and land blows really keeping the fight even to this point it could either way. Parke landed a late takedown and tried to gain position after some attempts Madadi gave up his back and earned the escape. Both men work into the clench as the 3rd round came to a close. After a tough fight that was dominated by Parke, he earns the unanimous decision. Both men took the ball and ran with it you never know what opportunities will come to you in the UFC.
Main Event Flyweight Dvision
Paddy Holohan (12-1-1) Vs Louis Smolka (9-1)
The new main event was a barn burner of a fight, two of the UFC top flyweights in the business as home town hero Paddy Holohan got his shot to carry the Irish crowd and take on Louis Smolka. Both fighters come out fast as Holohan and Smolka work eachtoher on the ground exchanging submissions. Both men working hard on the ground, Holohan works it back to standing position but the relentlessness of Holohan doesn’t give Smolka a second to breath and he works it right back to the ground. After working it back to standing position a strong leg kick by Smolka rocks Holohan but as almost all Irish fighters have a jaw like a brick he shakes it off and finishes the round trading blows with Smolka. The 2nd round began quickly with quick jabs by Smolka, but after a take down by Holohan Smolka found himself locked into Holohans hooks. As Paddy looked for the finish Smolka found his way out and worked it back to stand. Smoulka earned a takedown looking for position, Holohan roles to his back and Smolka gets into a full guard and starts with the ground and pound. Paddy did everything he could to get up as the crowd grew louder and louder cheering their hometown hero on. Holohan gives up his back and Smolka sunk in the rear naked choke and earned the tap out victory. Both of these men earned the chance to be the main event and they put on a hell of a show and gave the fans what they wanted a war and that’s what they got.
Ireland got everything they asked for, with a cloud hanging over the card the fighters of the UFC took the ball and ran with it. So many wars and battles split decisions and unanimous decision sprinkled in with a few TKO and submissions. Even though the main event didn’t go the way they wanted to, the Irish fights fans got to see not just their champion The Notorious One Conor McGregor cheering on the fighters but a lot of their home town heroes earn the opportunity to see their hand get raised.
By: Rick San Bartolome
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