Paddy Holohan: “I definitely feel like my contract is on the line”


A lot of fighters wouldn’t have stepped up and took the main event slot in front of their hometown crowd on a few days notice, but Paddy ‘The Hooligan’ Holohan did.

Not only that but the Tallaght man put on a show worthy of the main event billing. The SBG flyweight and Louis Smolka wasted no time with formalities to the delight of the Dublin crowd, and if Holohan wasn’t a star before he entered the Octagon that night, he certainly left it at as one.

He may not have had his hand raised, but that’s never the primary objective for Holohan.

“The result never really matters to me,” he explained. “I want to do what no one else can do. I don’t want to be the ordinary guy in the street living his life and going to work every day. That’s hell to me. I couldn’t do that.

“This is my life. There’s a lot of excitement in going into these fights. I’m taking this on four weeks notice. I want to get in there and do that and that’s why I live this life. If I didn’t want that, I could just walk away tomorrow and look after this new gym. I like fighting and the excitement of being able to these things can only happen in the fight game.

“You could end up fighting anyone at any given time. It could be in Austrailia, Vegas, or in this case, Rotterdam, but when I’m old and I’m sitting down and thinking about my career, I’ll be able to hold my hands up and say that I fought and I took them chances.

“Dustin Poirier could’ve stepped in at Dublin straight away. He had loads of offers. He was looking at it like a business decision, but in this game the fans are everything. I want to try to give them everything.”

The new gym that Holohan refers to is his very own premises, SBG Tallaght, that is set to open in early June. Before any of that, though, Holohan has to take on Willie Gates in Rotterdam on May 8. For the first time since making his debut with the promotion in July 2014, Holohan thinks that a loss could result in his exit from UFC.

“I definitely feel like my contract is on the line. Two losses in a row and you could be gone. And if I’m being honest, if you’ve lost two on the bounce, you probably deserve to go.”

Moving up weight classes has become very en vogue these days. In SBG alone, Conor McGregor, Chris Fields and Dylan Tuke have all moved made high-profile moves to new weight classes, but Holohan has no plans of returning to bantamweight anytime soon.

Interestingly, when discussing the new IV ban, Holohan claimed that the outlawing of the rehydration process will only help cheaters. For Holohan, if some fighters don’t mind putting steroids into their bodies, they won’t hesitate in filling it full of water intravenously.

“I’m a big man at this weight and at bantamweight I would be a little bit smaller. I’ve fought at bantamweight and featherweight in the past, but I want to see how it goes at flyweight.

“To be honest, I think banning IVs is only going to benefit people who are cheating in the sport. People who are taking steroids, they’ll have no problem of shoving some water in their system. I know they have some way of checking it, but if they’ll risk the other stuff you’d have to think that they’d take an IV.

“Moving up to bantamweight would probably slow the game down a bit. In my last fight at 135, some bloke just tried to hold me down for 15 minutes. I love the pace of flyweight.”

Finally, Holohan gave his thoughts on James Gallagher signing for Bellator.

“The youth and the talent that James has forces him to have a lot of responsibility. He’s an animal to go that young lad. If I knew what he knew when I was his age, I would’ve been out for world domination.

“I would’ve been still choking out lads in school or something,” he laughed. “James has a lot of discipline, he never flaunts his fighting skills outside of training or competition. He’s very capable too. He might only have three fights, but if Bellator gave him some old veteran on the back end of his career for his debut, he could shock a lot of people and take a very big jump, very quickly.”

Watch Paddy in action at UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Arlovski live on BT Sport on Sunday 8th May.


Ireland's leading MMA media outlet. Home of Severe MMA Podcast. Producers of 'Notorious,' 'The Fighting Irish' & other MMA docus

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