Fight fans waiting for the next Irish fighter with top ten talent to arrive in the UFC may have just found their man. The UFC has signed another of the world’s best rising lightweight fighters in Joseph Duffy. Duffy’s signing was first reported by The Score, who explain that the Irishman has been given a multi-fight deal with the Zuffa, and one that’s apparently a bit larger than the norm. No debut date or opponent has been announced for the Duffy, but from the sound of things, the UFC expect to get him a fight in March or April. So…
Who is Joseph Duffy?
26-year old “Irish” Joe Duffy comes to the UFC, training out of The MMA Clinic and Team Titan, where he trains alongside rising prospects Kieran O’Brien, Ashleigh Grimshaw, and former UFC vet Jason Young. He’ll be bringing a record of 12-1 with him to the Octagon, and frankly it’s one of the better records on the regional circuit, with wins over Conor McGregor and Norman Parke to his name. Beyond the big names, his resume is dotted with wins over successful regional vets, like Julien Boussuge and Damien Lapilus. In general, Duffy hasn’t faced a fighter with a losing record since 2009, his only loss coming via submission to long time regional vet Ivan Musardo. Coupled with his MMA success, Duffy took a two an a half year hiatus from MMA to pursue a professional boxing career. While he didn’t beat anyone of note, he did go 7-0, taking all seven fights in 2013. It is also worth noting, that Duffy was a contestant on Season 12 of the Ultimate Fighter back in 2010. Duffy failed to make the house, falling to a rear naked choke against Kyle Watson in the opening elimination round.
What you should expect:
As might be expected from his run as a pro boxer, Duffy is a very confident and punch focused striker. He favors a high movement, hands down boxing approach in order to stuff takedowns, relying mostly on proper head movement and hand parries to defend strikes. It’s worth noting, then, that Duffy is one of the few fighters talented enough to really carry this style and make it work for him, possessing both the natural explosive power to move in and out of the pocket quickly, as well as the cardio to maintain his output into late rounds. He punches well to the body and head, and moves well defensively in combination. He doesn’t take kicks particularly well, choosing to eat them and close distance (or skip away from them) rather than checking, but his ability to strike in volume and stay sound defensively inside make this a small flaw rather than a glaring one.
Coupled with his striking ability, Duffy is also a pretty venomous and opportunistic grappler. His wrestling is pretty basic, with a functional, if not especially flashy takedown offense and defense. But, when he’s on the ground, he’s got a very smooth and controlling grappling game. All told, Duffy is a very dangerous fighter and a fighter I wholeheartedly expect to be competing for a spot in the rankings not too far into his UFC career.
To get us better acquainted, here’s his recent bout against Damien Lapilus at CWFC 70:
About the author