If you missed it recently, not only has the UFC added another of Ireland’s top fighters to its roster, the promotion has also signed the last man to defeat Conor McGregor, Joseph Duffy.
Duffy fought McGregor at a Cage Warriors show, back in 2010, and tapped out his fellow countryman in the opening round. Since then, Duffy has gone 5-1 in six more MMA bouts, and has also competed in several pro boxing matches. The 26 year-old fighter is booked to fight Vagner Rocha at UFC 185 on March 14th, in what will mark “Irish Joe’s” Octagon debut.
Well, since McGregor has gone on to become one of the UFC’s fastest rising stars, Duffy is going to field plenty of questions about “Notorious” in the foreseeable future. Case in point, Duffy appeared on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour”, and he was asked whether he believed McGregor would go on to become such a big name (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“When I fought him, I knew he was good straight away,” he said. “I can’t say that I knew he would get to this level and blow up so quick to the point where he brings the UFC to Ireland singlehandedly. I wouldn’t say I knew he’d be this big, but I knew after fighting him that he had the potential to go far.”
“I would say that he had the self belief in his from Day 1. He’s obviously a showman, and I think that stayed with him throughout his career.”
Following McGregor’s win over Dennis Siver at UFC FN 59, “Notorious” relayed that he’s interested in facing Duffy again, if the opportunity presents itself. When Duffy was asked about whether he’d like to fight McGregor once more, he stated:
“Yeah, of course,” he said. “We’re both in the fight business and that’s our job. Our job’s to fight, and now ask too many questions. So, you know, if that fight came up down the line, then yeah, definitely. Who doesn’t want to be fighting one of the top guys in the world?”
While obviously that fight won’t materialize any time too soon, since McGregor is about to fight for the featherweight title, but never say never. McGregor has repeatedly stated that he plans to return to the lightweight division at some point in the future.
Duffy, meanwhile, is coming off a flying knee, knockout win over Julien Boussuge at Cage Warriors 40 in November.