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25th Apr 2016

Paddy Holohan has been forced to retire early from MMA

Dreadful news

Ben Kiely

Paddy Holohan has hung up his gloves for good.

The UFC Dublin 3 headliner announced his retirement on Facebook on Monday due to a rare blood clotting disorder. The 27-year-old competed five times in the Octagon (11-2-1, 3-2 UFC) and was due to fight Willie Gates at UFC Rotterdam on May 8.

UFC released a statement explaining that officials recently learned of Holohan’s rare disorder, which wasn’t disclosed until after his last fight. Holohan was subsequently advised by medical professionals to retire for the sake of his long term health and safety.

“I was born with a factor missing in my blood called Factor XIII,” Holohan explained. “I never disclosed it then or now. I can no longer pass the medical requirements to compete.”

“I knew that it was so rare that organizations wouldn’t understand or take the chance with me, as I have found out now. I never explained in full to my coach John Kavanagh or my team the actual risks because I didn’t think there was excess risk.”

Holohan admitted he was ambivalent about his retirement, explaining he was delighted about how his career played out, but he feels upset about having to leave professional fighting behind.

“I’m happy because I always wore my heart on my sleeve, never cheated, never turned away from diversity or challenges, and always strived to inspire and encourage people from all backgrounds,” 

“And I’m sad because I will never make that walk again, under those lights, feeling all those uncomfortable, yet life-giving feelings as they count and you hear ‘Walk, walk, walk,’ staring into a camera, knowing millions are watching, but most importantly the Irish are watching.”

UFC Fight Night Dublin, 3 Arena, Dublin 24/10/2015 Paddy Holohan vs Louis Smolka Paddy Holohan Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Holohan closed his statement by thanking his SBG teammates, his coach John Kavanagh and his fans, particularly the Irish supporters who have always been in his corner.

“Thanks to all of my team over the past nine years at SBG. My coach John who backed me regardless when I had nothing but effort to offer him in payment, it’s been an incredible journey for this council kid!”

“To all the Irish people and people of my hometown of Tallaght who have always caught my falls and helped me back to my feet, I am forever grateful to the people who have backed me through thick and thin. This has made me the man I am today.”