Saturday’s UFC Fight Night Dublin was meant to be a triumphant return for the Ultimate Fighting Championship to the Emerald Isle.
The show was to be the third to be held in the Republic of Ireland’s capital, and the first in more than a year. In that time, Dublin has seen one of its own rise from exciting new talent to interim champion in Conor McGregor, and the sport of MMA has never been more popular.
However, in a matter of weeks, the event has endured a crushing 1-2 punch.
First, the promotion revealed that the event, also known as UFC Fight Night 76, had lost one of its feature bouts in Ben Rothwell vs Stipe Miocic. As described here at Caged Insider last month, heavyweight contender Miocic pulled out due to injury, and no replacement was found for Rothwell.
Now, the show has lost its headliner — as a “medical issue” has forced Joseph Duffy out of his bout with Dustin Poirier.
An announcement from the promotion reads:
“Having learned that Duffy received a strike to the head during training earlier this week, UFC sent him for medical tests in Ireland for precautionary purposes,” the statement read. “The results determined that Duffy suffered a mild concussion and due to the proximity of the fight this Saturday UFC will not permit him to compete. The health and safety of UFC athletes will continue to be the top priority for the organization. As such, UFC has respected standard athletic commission regulations, which recommend a medical suspension from competition as a result of the concussion.”
The 27 year old Duffy, a native of Donegal, Ireland, is 2-0 in the UFC and 13-1 overall in his MMA career.
The event will continue with a flyweight bout between Patrick Holohan and Louis Smolka now serving as main event. It will be broadcast internationally on UFC Fight Pass — with preliminary bouts beginning at 1 pm ET, 10 am PT.