Search icon


24th Nov 2015

OPINION: Paul Redmond can feel extremely hard done by after being cut by the UFC

Jumped through hoops

Darragh Murphy

One more fight.

Surely Paul Redmond deserved at least one more fight in the UFC.

The Team Ryano fighter became the latest victim of the recent promotional cull after he was released by the UFC on Monday.

And it all feels very premature.

Redser isn’t the first fighter who went 0-2 in the UFC to be let go from his contract, and he certainly won’t be the last, but surely the promotion needs to start giving a little bit of leeway to fighters who have all the potential in the world to rally from adversity.

And Redmond, who signed a four-fight deal in January, was certainly one who you’d have backed to fight his way directly back into the win column.

The circumstances under which Redmond made his promotional debut need to be taken into consideration to get a sense of the injustice served to him in his swift shove out the back door.

Essentially, the Dubliner did the UFC a massive favour by taking his first fight on merely a fortnight’s notice and was tasked with the challenge of dropping to featherweight for the first time in his career in doing so.

redmond 12

He absolutely drained himself as he filled in for Alan Omer for a match-up against Mirsad Bektic, an undefeated 145 lber with a 75% finishing rate at the time.

Unsurprisingly, Redmond’s gas tank looked absolutely bone dry after he missed weight and he was dominated against one of the hottest prospects on the roster. But he still took Bektic the distance.

A tough debut, eh?

But it didn’t get any easier in Redmond’s second promotional outing as he was pitted against Scotland’s Robert Whiteford for the UFC’s first event in Glasgow.

Redser made 145 lbs for the first time and a future at featherweight looked on the cards before the bell rang and he was caught with a short left hook by Whiteford before being finished with ground and pound.

So Redmond moved to 0-2 under the UFC banner but the specific circumstances have to be acknowledged as the odds were stacked against him a little bit on both occasions.

Would the UFC reward the helping hand offered by Redmond for the Bektic fight? Of course not.

Paul Redmond highlight 2

I can appreciate that the UFC has over 500 fighters on its roster and that some have to be released to make room for incoming prospects but I’d argue that it’s fighters like Scott Jorgensen, who lost his third consecutive fight and eighth of his last ten on Saturday night, who should be first out the door rather than promising competitors like Redmond.

Other big names like Dan Henderson (2-6 in last eight), Roy Nelson (1-5 in last six), Frank Mir (2-5 in last seven), Nate Marquardt (1-5 in last six) and Jake Ellenberger (1-4 in last five) all cost the UFC much more in purse payout than young, up-and-coming fighters who are often on a basic $10,000 to fight/$10,000 to win contract.

The promotion’s money-minders are always to going hesitate to pull the trigger on the high-profile fighters just because of the reputation that they’ve amassed in the sport but surely it would make a little bit of long-term sense to balance that faith in the old guard with a tad more support for the potential of younger athletes.

People will argue that the UFC can’t afford to keep backing fighters who get their promotional career started at 0-2.

I’d like to point those people in the direction of reigning UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos who was knocked out by Jeremy Stephens in his first octagon outing in 2008 before losing a unanimous decision to Tyson Griffin six months later.

UFC Fight Night

Since then, RDA has gone 13-3 and completely outclassed Anthony Pettis in March to take the 155 lb title.

But this is 2015 and in the current trigger-happy climate of mixed martial arts, RDA likely wouldn’t have been given the chance to prove himself. He would have been written off, sent back to Fury FC and the world’s biggest promotion would have been robbed of a champion-to-be.

Dos Anjos isn’t the only fighter to get his UFC career off to a 0-2 start as big names like Uriah Hall and Patrick Cote both lost their first pair of trips through the octagon doors.

Hell, Ian McCall needed four fights to get his first UFC win.

Now, more than ever, the promotion seems to be getting less and less likely to take a chance on guys. They want the instant marketability of Sage Northcutt, Paige VanZant and Henry Cejudo.

Allowing fighters to grow by mentally overcoming defeats has fallen out of fashion in Las Vegas.


Some of the greatest fighters have said that their most crippling losses have shaped them more than their most memorable victories over the years and the UFC quite simply needs to offer more than two bouts to fighters who could well be the next big thing.

With all of this talk of octagon jitters, it’s a wonder that so much credence is given to promotional debuts.

Fighters need to find their feet and their showings in their pre-UFC days ought to be taken into account before the hammer is dropped.

Paul Redmond was one of the most exciting fighters in Cage Warriors, finishing his time in Europe’s top MMA organisation with a 7-1 record and earned a hardcore fanbase for his tendency to avoid going to the judges.


I have no doubt that Redser will be back in the UFC and, to be fair to the promotion, they never hesitate to hold their hands up and give fighters another chance once they have gotten some momentum going in lesser organisations.

But I still can’t shake the feeling that he should have been given one more shot before his release. Why not offer him a fight on February’s London card and if he were to lose then, by all means give him his marching orders.

Redmond had earned that, at least. The benefit of the doubt, no?

He did the promotion a massive favour in the Bektic fight, took a hugely risky opponent for the Whiteford bout in Glasgow and the man even quit his job so he could focus full-time on repaying the UFC’s faith in him.

And all he needed was one more fight.


Paul Redmond,UFC