Four SBG Fighters In UFC Fight Night Dublin
SBG Fighters, Pendred & Holohan, Added to UFC Dublin Card
With Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson headlining the co-main event at the up-coming UFC Dublin, it didn’t seem the rise to dominance of SBG in Europe could be made any more obvious. However, we were sorely mistaken. Since my article last week, the UFC have doubled their helping of SBG fighters on the Fight Night card. Four SBG names will now be appearing at the O2 Arena in Dublin on Saturday, July 19th. Along with McGregor and Nelson, Cathal Pendred and Paddy Holohan, both from SBG Ireland, will be competing.
SBG Ireland’s Cathal Pendred
Cathal Pendred signed a 10-fight contract with the UFC this past week, and will make his debut in front of a home crowd in Dublin. He previously appeared and had an excellent run on The Ultimate Fighter: Edgar vs Penn, reaching the semi-finals of that competition before losing by split decision. However while the controversial defeat was tough to take, he did enough to impress everyone watching, including Dana White, and it has led him down the road to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; a UFC debut fight in front of a sold-out, home town crowd. After the TUF loss, and a lot of subsequent anguish at losing a fight he believed he had won, Pendred received an email from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva asking for a call, and six weeks later we now learn that that phone call was to sign the fighter to the UFC and arrange for Pendred to face his former TUF housemate, Mike King, in the octagon. Of his opponent, Pendred said, “ he is just an obstacle standing in the way of my dream…an obstacle that I will get through undoubtedly.”
SBG Ireland’s Paddy Holohan
Paddy “The Hooligan” Holohan is yet another SBG fighter on the Dublin card. Like his team mate, he also experienced disappointment during his stint on The Ultimate Fighter, one season earlier, suffering a back injury during the show. But, also like Pendred, his undeniable talent has led him to the gate of the octagon regardless of the fickle fancies of reality television. Talking about his chance to make his UFC debut in Dublin, Holohan thanks SBG for making his dreams reality “…Thanks to my SBG family, I’ve found the ingredients to do what I love for a living.”. It has been a longer road from TUF to the UFC-proper than for Cathal Pendred. Holohan has been recovering for over a year from his back injury and resulting surgery. Paddy has chosen to view his injury as a positive experience, crediting it with strengthening him mentally, and making him hungrier for the chance to fight again. He also alludes to the growth he has experienced at SBG “It’s crazy to think that I started out in SBG doing their foundation course, just two days a week, and now look at where I am.” He fights Josh Sampo in Dublin, another TUF contestant who made his debut in the show’s finale in November.
Both fighters join Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson in their Iceland training camp, free from the distractions of the UFC Dublin fight night hype and ever growing legions of Irish MMA fans eager to support the SBG competitors. To read more about Cathal Pendred’s and Paddy Holohan’s preparations, check out the links below: