Paddy Holohan kept a rare blood disorder quiet from UFC officials for almost two years.
Now, the SBG Ireland fighter will be forced to retire after the disease was found during medical tests.
Holohan (12-2-1) went 3-2 during his UFC run, including a recent loss in the main event to Louis Smolka in Ireland. He bested Vaughan Lee, Shane Howell and Josh Sampo, losing his other fight to Chris Kelades.
“I was born with a factor missing in my blood called Factor XIII,” Holohan said. “I never disclosed it then or now. I can no longer pass the medical requirements to compete.
“I knew that it was so rare that organizations wouldn’t understand or take the chance with me, as I have found out now. I never explained in full to my coach John Kavanagh or my team the actual risks because I didn’t think there was excess risk.”
Below is the complete statement from Holohan’s Facebook page:
I’ve known this announcement was coming for a week or more now and it has only felt worse the more I have thought about it.
I am forced to retire from MMA.
I was born with a factor missing in my blood called Factor XIII. I never disclosed it then or now, it came to the UFC’s attention from a third party and I can no longer pass the medical requirements to compete, only 1 in 5 million people are diagnosed so I knew that it was so rare, organisations wouldn’t understand or take the chance with me as I have found out now, I never explained in full to John or my team the actual risks cause I didn’t think there was excess risk .
It is a disorder that is only dangerous for me not my opponents.
I really did see MMA as the way to have a real shot at life for myself and my family and it turns out I was right.
I have mixed emotions about it:
• Proud because I always wore my heart on my sleeve, stood my ground, never cheated, never turned away from diversity or challenges and always strived to inspire and encourage people from all backgrounds.
• Sad because I will never make that walk again, under those lights, feeling all those uncomfortable yet life giving feelings as they count and you hear “walk walk walk” staring into a camera, knowing millions are watching but most importantly the Irish are watching.
I am also disappointed because people who have cheated within the sport due to PEDs etc putting their opponents in extra danger will fight again, whereas for me it’s a genetic 1 in 5 million disorder that stops me dead in my tracks.
I really feel I was only turning the corner in my fight career and I still have so much more to give!
Thanks to all of my team over the past 9 years at SBG. My coach John who backed me regardless when I had nothing but effort to offer him in payment, it’s been an incredible journey for this council kid!
To all the Irish people and people of my home town of Tallaght who have always caught my falls and helped me back to my feet, I am forever grateful to those people who have backed me through thick and thin.
This journey has made me the man I am today.
Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan.