UFC Dublin Vs UFC Dublin may sound a bit bizarre a headline but honestly bare with me on this one. With UFC Dublin 2015 fast approaching in just over a months time I wanted to reflect on the upcoming main event and look to compare it to one of the best night’s in recent MMA history, UFC Dublin 2014 which took place on 19th July 2014.
The first event was headlined by a fast rising Featherweight going by the name of Conor McGregor facing off against a tough, over excitable and fiery Brazilian, Diego Brandao. The original main event featured Cole Miller taking on McGregor but Miller pulled out due to injury (probably a wise move for the American) and winner of TUF Bisping Vs Miller, Brandao, stepped forward into the main event slot. Coincidentally Brandao’s last bout before the McGregor fight was against Dustin Poirier which saw Poirier knock the Brazilian out in the first round.
The fight at the time was only McGregor’s third bout of his UFC career and the Irishman was making his return (after nearly a year out) to the Octagon after suffering an injury in his previous bout against Max Holloway. Going in, McGregor literally had the whole of the nation resting on his shoulders but like the showman he is, he did not let it get to him in the slightest.
As many expected it took McGregor less than a round to finish his opponent in devestating fashion lifting the roof off of the 02 Arena in Dublin and cementing the moment as one which will forever be looked back on in MMA history for years to come.
Fast forward a year and a bit and we are now scheduled to see Irishman Joseph Duffy main event the UFC’s return to Dublin as he takes on American Dustin Poirier in a Lightweight bout. The bout is unlikely to have immediate Title implications but the winner can certainly be guaranteed a springboard in one of the UFC’s toughest divisions and has the potential to crack the top ten rankings (Poirier is currently ranked #13).
So on a like for like basis what fight will be bigger? McGregor/Brandao or Poirier/Duffy? Well I suppose it depends on how you measure “bigger”. Will Poirier/Duffy recreate that epic noise which was absolutely deafening to anyone inside or in the vicinity of the 02 arena? Probably not, actually I’ll stick my head out and say it definitely will not.
But will the fight be a better competed MMA bout than McGregor/Brandao? I think its fair to say that it definitely will. Stylistically its a great match up pitting two forward moving fighters who possess slightly different strengths to their arsenal. Duffy has some of the most crisp, technical striking in the division whereas Poirier holds the advantage on the ground.
On paper this fight is a big step up in competition for Duffy and Poirier is certainly his toughest opponent to date. Poirier has been fighting under the Zuffa banner since 2010 (1-1 WEC, 10-3 UFC) and is a gritty fighter who has recently returned to his natural weight class of 155lbs and scored two TKO’s since.
There are so many variables to this fight in terms of how Duffy will deal with the overwhelming support he is likely to receive in Dublin, where Poirier’s head is at going against another Irishman on the rise, to how Duffy deals with the pressure of main eventing a UFC card in his hometown. All of these factors for me make this a much more compelling main event than the McGregor/Brandao fight which was essentially a squash match for McGregor on his rise to the top.
Trying to weigh up the two main events and compare them on a like for like basis minus the spectacle of the 2014 Dublin card is an easy comparison in my eyes, Poirier Vs Duffy is just a more intriguing bout. Don’t get me wrong, the spectacle of McGregor/Brandao far outweighs what we can expect from Duffy/Poirier but in terms of the fight we are going to see, we can expect a highly competitive bout with two of the very best 155lbers in the world.
You may also like: