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Paddy Holohan Forced to Retire from MMA

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In unexpected news to hit the MMA world today, Ireland’s popular flyweight Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan has revealed that he has been forced to announce his retirement from MMA due a rare blood disorder. The Tallaght native was born witout a blood component known as Factor XIII, which aids in the formation of blood clots. Holohan announced the news via his Facebook page.

PaddyHolohan

Holohan joined the UFC in 2014 prior to UFC Fight Night 46 in his home town of Dublin, Ireland. He walked out to a full arena, despite it being the opening bout of the night. His opponent was Josh Sampo and Holohan wasted no time getting the job done, earning a rear naked choke victory just over 3 minutes into the first round. The reception he received on that night was deafening and many hold the belief that it rivaled the reception for Conor McGregor in his TKO win in the main event of that card.

Holohan would go on to lose his next fight to promotional newcomer Chris Kelades in October of that year, but both men would leave Nova Scotia $50,000 richer after being awarded Fight of the Night honours for their performances. The loss was also the first of Holohan’s professional MMA career.

The Irishman bounced back from that setback in 2015, earning back to back decision victories. First, in January, he defeated Shane Howell at UFC Fight Night 59 in Boston, Massachusetts, once more fighting on the undercard of an event featuring his great friend and training partner, Conor McGregor, in the main event. Holohan would then fight in the UFC’s first ever show in Scotland at UFC Fight Night 72 in July against England’s Vaughan Lee. Emerging from that win with no injuries set up Holohan perfectly to gain a place on the UFC Fight Night 76 card when the UFC once again returned to his home town of Dublin.

Holohan was paired with Louis Smolka on that occasion, but neither man knew at the time of signing the contract that they would end up main eventing the card. After the event lost both it’s main event due to an injury suffered by Joseph Duffy and it’s co-main event after Stipe Miocic was forced to withdraw, the UFC moved Holohan vs Smolka up to the top billing on the card. Holohan had gone from opening the show the last time the UFC held an event in Dublin, to main eventing the show in just 15 months. Disappointingly for Holohan and his legion of fans, Smolka would leave Dublin with a submission triumph. Little did the fans in attendance and those watching on TV know that it was the last time they would see Holohan inside the cage.

Indeed, prior to today’s announcement, Holohan was scheduled to meet Willie Gates at the UFC’s upcoming show in Rotterdam. The promotion has indicated that they are searching for a replacement for that fight.

During his career, Paddy Holohan was one of the most popular figures in European MMA, partly down to his exciting fighting style, but also because of his exuberant personality. He leaves MMA with an overall record of 12 – 2 – 1, with 8 of those wins coming by submission. Everyone at MMA Latest would like to wish Paddy Holohan well in his future endeavors.

 

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Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223

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UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.

 

Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.

After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.

A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.

Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.

Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.

A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.

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Chael Sonnen vs. Rampage Jackson the new main event at Bellator 192

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Bellator is getting ready to kick off their heavyweight grand prix at Bellator 192 on January 20th. The grand prix gets started with two former UFC greats who have now set their sights on Bellator gold, Chael Sonnen and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Today it was announced that this heavyweight matchup of two ordinarily light heavyweights will be getting the bump up to the main event. The reason for the change has not been announced.

The main event was scheduled to be the much anticipated welterweight matchup between champion Douglas Lima and former UFC title challenger Rory MacDonald. Bellator has been promoting this event as such the welterweight title fight would get top billing. Earlier this week the fighters involved in the main and co-main event were part of a conference call. At the time there was no mention of the switch to the lineup.

This fight between Sonnen and Jackson is just the first in a series of heavyweight fights leading up to the crowning of the Bellator heavyweight championship in December. There has been great interest shown in this heavyweight grand prix between fans and media, which could attribute to the last minute change.

Lima vs. MacDonald will now serve as the co-main event on January 20th. Lima, who has been with Bellator since 2011 has been accused of being overlooked by the organization. He has held the welterweight title since November 2016 and perhaps has not gotten the showcases he deserves. This event will take place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

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Bellator announces longtime referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy to join broadcast team

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After the announcement last week that Bellator would be parting ways with their longtime color commentary man Jimmy Smith, Bellator has now found their replacement. Bellator announced Tuesday through a press release that they have signed well known MMA referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy to fill the void left by Smith.

McCarthy will be making his commentary debut on January 20th at the much anticipated Bellator 192: Lima vs. MacDonald at The Forum in California. McCarthy will join the likes of Chael Sonnen, as Bellator has also extended his contract as well. The two will be added to the broadcast team that already included former UFC broadcaster Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo.

“With the addition of ‘Big’ John to our broadcast team, we have put together the premier group of MMA commentators ahead of our Jan. 20 debut on the Paramount Network,” Bellator President Scott Coker said via the press release. “With John and Chael providing analysis, you’re getting two people who have spent more time in the cage than they have spent with a headset on, and that will translate to a positive viewing experience for Bellator fans.”

McCarthy has been seen inside the cage for the last 20 years. He is most likely the most recognized referee in MMA. In addition to refereeing, McCarthy is the founder of a program called “C.O.M.M.A.N.D.” This program trains and certifies future MMA referees and judges.

“I first want to say how grateful I am for the opportunity I have been given to work with the incredible team Bellator has assembled. It is always so hard to leave something you love, but I have always wanted to step away based on my terms rather than someone else’s. My goals are to work as hard as I can to meet the expectations everyone will have for me and to hopefully someday exceed them.” McCarthy said via the press release. “I cannot think of anyone I would rather be working with than Scott Coker. Scott has always been a person I admire because of his honesty, loyalty, and love for the martial arts. I want to thank everyone from Bellator and Viacom for the trust you are bestowing upon me to keep the commentating of Bellator MMA at the highest levels of the sport.”

Bellator is in the midst of transitioning their live broadcasts from Spike TV to the new Paramount network.

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