UFC Fight Night 76 Preview


European MMA is reaching new heights in the UFC as more fighters are making a bigger impression than ever before.

That is what the UFC is hoping for as the rule of the Americas has been great but the UFC wants to be an international sport.

Europe has had some success in the past as there have been a few champions but this era is looking different.

There are currently two European fighters holding titles, which has never happened before, as Joanna Jędrzejczyk is the current UFC strawweight champion and Conor McGregor is the current interim featherweight champion.

These are the success stories of European MMA as it continues to evolve but as the UFC returns to Dublin fans will get to see the near future of the sport in Europe.

There have been plenty of European fighters in the UFC but only a select few have had any success.

That could be changing as UFC Fight Night 76 will feature European fighters, especially fighters from around the UK and Ireland who are looking to make a name for themselves.

This fight card represents a massive chance for European MMA as it will feature plenty of European fighters that could all work their way into the rankings this Saturday.

From the top to the bottom of the fight card are fighters that are looking to use a win on Saturday to propel them into the rankings.

Fighters like Scotland’s Robert Whiteford and Stevie Ray or England’s Scott Askham, Norman Parke, and Darren Till are all one impressive win away from making the top 15 and have the opportunity to do that at Fight Night 76.

More importantly for the Irish crowd though the card will be filled with Irish fighters who have the same opportunity.

Cathal Pendred, Aisling Daly, and Neil Seery could all see the rankings with an impressive fight or move up the rankings in the case of Daly.

The big focus was going to be the final two fights where two very good Irish fighters were looking to move their way into the conversation.mma-sidebar.fw

The best shot of moving into the rankings was in the main even where Joe Duffy was putting his four-fight winning streak on the line against Dustin Poirier.

Then only days before the fight the Irishman suffered a concussion while training and the main event was called off.

That gave Duffy’s countryman a chance to take control of the night and impress the UFC in his unexpected and first main event in the UFC.

Paddy Holohan is a fan favourite in Ireland and although the crowd would have loved to see Duffy fight, Holohan is a great back-up.

The reason for his popularity is the simple fact that he loves the grind of a fight and isn’t necessarily great at any one thing.

He just finds ways to win fights and even in losing he excites the crowd as his only loss in the UFC came against Chris Kelades which was named the Fight of the Night.

With two wins this year, Holohan is looking to making it a perfect year with his third fight and he will take on another fighter looking to make his own impression.

Louis Smolka might be happy to see another Irishman across the octagon as his last win earlier in the year came against Neil Seery.

Smolka is a well-rounded fighter that was only steps away from cracking the rankings earlier last year.

That proved to be a distraction though as Smolka lost for the first time in his career against Chris Cariaso in what was supposed to be his key to the rankings.

Now it seems like he is right there again and although he will need to fight a very good opponent in Holohan the chance is there.

For Smolka the pressure will come from not wanting to get the reputation of being right there and never getting into the top 15.

For Holohan it is a little different as he will have an entire country looking to him to finish off a night they hope is full of winning Irish fighters.

He will also look to finish off what could be a big night for European MMA where more than a few fighters could start the next week in the top 15 of their respective divisions, as long as all goes right.


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