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25th Feb 2018

Paul Redmond deserves UFC Dublin slot because of how he was treated the first time and how he’s responded

He got a raw deal, but he never gave up

Ben Kiely

Paul Redmond

Paul Redmond was handed a raw deal during his first stint in the UFC.

The last time the UFC came to Dublin, Paul Redmond was there.

Head to toe in UFC Reebok attire, he walked out to a roaring card inside the 3Arena. He went to work that night, but he did so from the periphery of the Octagon. He was part of the performance, but he wasn’t the star.

‘Redser’ was able to corner teammate Neil Seery for his bout against Jon Delos Reyes by virtue of the fact that he wasn’t fighting on the card. Paddy Holohan, Norman Parke, Cathal Pendred and Aisling Daly also competed on the event, but there was no room for Dubliner Redmond.

Paul Redmond

Stepping up for Stockholm

It wasn’t known at the time, but Redmond had fought the last bout of his first UFC stint by that night. The following month, the UFC made it official. Redmond received his pink slip after going 0-2 in the world’s largest MMA promotion.

His first task for the promotion was an impossible task. The natural lightweight had to cut to featherweight for his promotional debut. Accepting the fight on two weeks’ notice meant that the battle started with making weight.

When he stepped onto the Stockholm stage, he was a shell of himself. He was physically drained and needed the support of coach Andy Ryan’s shoulder while stripping down. When he looked down, the scales read 149 lbs – three pounds over the limit. His punishment was forfeiting 20% of his purse to opponent Mirsad Bektic.

Paul Redmond

Gone in Glasgow

Bektic dominated Redser over three rounds to keep his then-pristine professional record intact. He used his wrestling prowess to maul the Irishman to score a unanimous decision victory. The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27 and 30-25 in favour of the Bosnian prospect.

He was then booked against Robert Whiteford for Glasgow six months later. He remained at featherweight and successfully came in under the limit. Unfortunately, on fight night he was stunned by a first-round knockout loss.

After going 7-1 to reach the UFC, Redmond slumped to consecutive defeats for only the second time in his career. The streak set his mind on moving back up to 155, but his next bout wouldn’t come inside the Octagon.

Back at it

With a couple of training camps in Montreal’s Tristar gym under his belt, Redmond bounced back by defeating Chris Stringer under the BAMMA banner. He lost a split decision in a captivating fight against former UFC man Parke in his next bout, but quickly got back to work.

He had three more fights in 2017 and won them all. It started with a submission over Rob Sinclair in BAMMA, then he got a split decision over Łukasz Chlewicki at KSW Dublin and it finished by besting Sergio de Jesus Santos at Bellator 187.

The unwritten rule is that three consecutive wins are required for a UFC contract. Redmond’s got that now and with rumblings of the UFC returning to the Irish capital this summer, he wants in.

You know what, he bloody well deserves it too.