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05th Nov 2022

“There’s a new Irish superstar in town” – Young Derry fighter touted for UFC after big title win

Lee Costello

Paul Hughes UFC

“Cage Warriors? Completed it.”

Derry MMA fighter Paul Hughes looks destined for the UFC after unifying the Cage Warriors Featherweight division in emphatic fashion.

Hughes convincingly defeated Jordan Vucenic in their long awaited rematch, meaning that the 25-year-old has avenged the only defeat on his record.

The Irishman won by clear unanimous decision and came close on several occasions to getting the stoppage, but regardless of how he won, the victory means that the Lavey native is the first Irish 145lbs champion for Cage Warriors since Conor McGregor.

Hughes was clearly emotional after the result was announced, and it’s easy to see why given that his career had been stop-start due to continuous injuries, and fight cancellations.

However, redemption seemed to be achieved and the future back on track when he climbed the cage to salute his adoring fans and chants of “UFC, UFC, UFC” echoed through the arena.

“Cage Warriors? Completed it. I’ve taken out all of the best guys in Europe, I’m selling out venues in other countries on Friday nights”, said Hughes.

“That’s what I’m doing here. I beat the best, I’ve just unified the title and avenged my only loss, In my eyes I’m 10-0 right now, and I am the biggest prospect, unsigned to the UFC, in the world.

“We have got a country behind us, like you have heard of Conor McGregor, well, Paul Hughes is next, and I truly am bringing a country behind me.

“I’m bringing Northern Ireland, I’m bringing Ireland, I’m bringing Derry, I’m bringing Belfast, we have got a new horse in the race, and his name is Paul Hughes, and he’s a superstar.

“I’m here to stay, and I’m here to take over the UFC, and with my country behind me, I couldn’t be more proud.”

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