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13th Feb 2018

One of Ireland’s most promising prospects, Paul Hughes, suffers extremely unlucky injury setback

His debut in Belfast was sensational

Ben Kiely

Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes is a name we thought we’d be seeing a lot more of since his professional debut.

On the undercard of the highly-anticipated Norman Parke vs Paul Redmond fight at BAMMA 28, a young Northern Irishman by the name of Paul Hughes announced himself to the professional MMA circuit.

The 19-year-old showed zero signs of nerves as he debuted in the SSE Arena. Standing across from him was Adam Gustab. The Polish fighter was seven years his senior and already had a pristine 2-0 pro record.

Hughes showed maturity beyond his years in his debut. He backed his opponent up to the fence, took control of the centre of the cage and picked him apart with the striking. He did this in his stride, remaining calm before choosing his moment to turn up the aggression.

An explosive flying knee marked the beginning of the end. Once Gustab went skating backwards around the cage, Hughes moved in for the kill. After doing some damage in the clinch, they separated in time for Hughes to land the fight-ending right hand.

Almost a full year has passed since that fateful night in Belfast and Hughes has yet to have his second pro fight. He was set to fight on the BAMMA 30 card last July, but unfortunately, a fractured hand suffered in sparring forced him to withdraw.

Hughes broke the news on Monday that the pesky hand injuries have reared their ugly heads again. He uploaded a photo of an X-ray explaining that he broke his hand for the fourth time in 12 months.

In an incredibly unfortunate turn of luck, Hughes had just returned to full contact sparring. He confessed that he was in tears writing the statement and that he needs to take some time to figure out what his next step is.

We wish him a speedy recovery.