UFC Fight Night 76: Results!
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 | Carl
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to Ireland for an injury riddled UFC Fight Night 76 mixed martial arts (MMA) event this past Saturday (October 24, 2015), airing live on UFC Fight Pass from inside the 3Arena in Dublin.
In the substitute main event, Paddy Holohan and Louis Smolka put on a show, flaunting their grappling prowess in a thrilling two round affair . In the end, "Da Last Samurai" pulled out the victory with a rear-naked choke to silence the Dublin crowd.
In the co-main event, Norman Parke and Reza Madadi battled it out for 15 minutes in a fight that will likely soon be forgotten. Parke eventually pulled out the decision victory, but it was far from a spectacular performance.
With that quick overview of the night's marquee bouts, here are your biggest winners, as well as the runners-up from Dublin.
Biggest Winner: Louis Smolka
While Louis Smolka did not have quite the amount of pressure Paddy Holohan did heading into the UFC Fight Night 76 main event, there is something to be said for a fighter to put on such a spectacular show in hostile territory on the biggest platform of his career.
Smolka's last two UFC fights came on the "Prelims," and just a few weeks ago the Hawaiian was excited to open up the main card in Dublin.
After UFC brass were forced to scratch both the main and co-main event due to injuries, the upstart Flyweight suddenly found himself in the UFC Fight Night 76 feature fight.
And boy did he make the most of it.
In a whirlwind affair that featured some spectacular grappling exchanges, Smolka put on a career performance, improving to 10-1 with an impressive second round rear-naked choke victory.
The only negative? UFC brass snubbed the rising prospect from earning a $50,000 bonus check for "Performance of the Night."
While I am not certain the win will catapult "Da Last Samurai" into the division's top 15, you can bet the 24-year old is on to higher-profile fights from here on out.
What can you say about a 36 year-old that comes up large in his home country?
Look, Neil Seery is never going to compete for UFC gold, and he likely will never be a ranked UFC Flyweight, but the Irishman is as game as they come, and he picked up a massive win in Dublin on Saturday.
When you consider Seery was only brought into the UFC as a late replacement to battle Brad Pickett last year, it becomes even more remarkable "2 Tap" has carved out a 3-2 record inside the Octagon.
Seery earned his first UFC finish this weekend by submitting Jon Delos Reyes via a guillotine in the second round, causing the 3Arena crowd to roar with excitement.
It was undoubtedly a special moment for the aging veteran, and you can bet his $50,000 bonus check for "Performance of the Night" was the cherry on top.
Nicolas Dalby and Darren Till
What a fight!
When UFC brass announced undefeated prospects Nicolas Dalby and Darren Till would throw down in Dublin, the conventional wisdom was that one of these men would leave the Octagon with the bitter taste of defeat for the very first time.
Alas, that was not meant to be.
After three rounds of sensational back-and-forth action, the judges declared the bout a majority draw, which was absolutely the right decision.
The fight was all-action from the start, as Till stormed out of the gates, showing off his savvy array of strikes while bobbing and weaving to avoid Dalby's counters.
After two strong rounds from the Englishman, Dalby answered back in the third, showing his toughness by battering Till for five minutes. At this point, both men were utterly exhausted, but absolutely refused to quit or let up.
The fight was truly outstanding, and well deserving of "Fight of the Night" honors.
Biggest Loser: Joe Duffy
Even without fighting at UFC Fight Night 76, Joe Duffy is undoubtedly the biggest loser of the Ireland event.
In only his third UFC appearance, Duffy was granted a main event slot in his home country against savvy veteran and rising Lightweight contender Dustin Poirier.
Had the fight actually occurred, the winner would have likely cracked the official UFC rankings, and may have only been one or two fights away from a No. 1 contender shot.
Unfortunately for Duffy — and his hometown Irish faithful -- the Tristar gym product suffered a concussion while sparring in the week leading up the event, forcing him out of his highly anticipated and consequential affair.
The injury not only cost Duffy a fight against a well established veteran, but it may have also cost him a spot in a UFC main event.
While Poirier wants the fight to be rescheduled, it is unlikely UFC brass will risk putting the 155-pound duel back in a main event slot.
Tough luck for one of the sport's biggest prospects.
A whirlwind week for Paddy Holohan ended in bitter dissapointment Saturday afternoon inside the 3Arena in Dublin.
Initially set to kick off the main card in front of his countrymen, "The Hooligan" had his Flyweight tilt promoted to the co-main event once Stipe Miocic bowed out his scheduled affair against Ben Rothwell.
Then, just days before the event, Holohan's battle against Louis Smolka was again promoted, this time to the main event following Joe Duffy's injury.
With the pressure of an entire nation on his back, Holohan walked to the Octagon to an uproarious crowd, but simply could not get the job done against a very game Smolka.
Holohan likely fought better than he ever had, truly putting it all on the line in a thrilling two round war against the Hawaiian.
In what will be remembered as a grappling gem, the Irishman seemed to be just a touch slower in every exchange, and that ultimately cost him when Smolka gained mount and began raining down a barrage of heavy punches.
Soon after, Conor McGregor's teammate was on the wrong end of a deep rear-naked choke, and Holohan had no other option but to tap.
Even though the Irishman fell short at UFC Fight Night 76, both he and Smolka put on a sensational show that won't soon be forgotten.
In just four months, Cathal Pendred's UFC career has taken a drastic turn for the worse.
After scraping by and somehow winning four straight underwhelming fights inside the Octagon, the Irishman has now dropped two straight in quick succession.
On Saturday, Pendred was simply outclassed by uber prospect Tom Breese.
The 24-year old Englishman picked Pendred apart on the feet, and had little trouble accomplishing whatever he pleased inside the Octagon.
Pendred looked sluggish on the feet, and simply could not bully his undefeated counterpart.
Breese was a cold and calculated killer in Dublin, lighting up Pendred with a savage barrage of left hands and follow-up hammerfists to finish the hometown favorite in the first round.
With UFC brass cutting fighters left and right, there is no guarantee Pendred's job is safe.
One thing is for sure: If the Irishman does get another crack inside the Octagon, he absolutely must come out victorious.