A Review of Irish MMA in Vegas

It was the biggest week in Irish MMA’s short history. Not only did they have a fighter competing for a UFC title for the very first time, but the small nation had the UFC 189 card littered with representatives. Catherine Costigan made her Invicta debut, and the country had two sets of teams compete in the amateur world championships.

Below you will find a review and recap of how Irish MMA performed over the past seven days in the fight capital of the world.

By The Numbers
Total Fighters: 15 (5 pro, 10 amateur)
Total Fights: 23
Record: 12-11
Finishes: 8 (4 TKO/KO, 4 Submissions)
Decisions: 10 (4 wins, 6 losses)
Belts/Medals Won: 5
Interim UFC FW Title – Conor McGregor
IMMAF Gold – Frans Mlambo
IMMAF Silver – Sinead Kavanagh
IMMAF Bronze – Carl McNally & Denis Perry

Notable Performances:
Conor McGregor – the toughest challenge of his UFC career and he passed it emphatically. Sure, he got taken down but never looked in too much trouble as he got back to his feet each time.
Gunnar Nelson – my favourite performance from all the fights this week. The honorary Irishman won his fight by knocking Thatch, a man renowned for his stand-up, down and then submitting him. Outstanding to watch.
Neil Seery – ‘2Tap’ might have lost his fight but won over a tonne of fans in the process. The Irish veteran continues to entertain in his fights, showing off his great boxing and proving to be near impossible to finish.
Frans Mlambo – fought four times, competing nearly 60 minutes in total, in less than a week and won all his fights. The SBG fighter captured IMMAF gold in his respective weight class.
Carl McNally – the Northern Irish fighter exited in the semi-finals losing out to Jose Torres, eventual winner & now two-time champ, but he received high praise for his performance in the competition finishing two opponents in the first round.


Overall it was a spectacular week for Irish MMA. Despite a couple of disappointing performances and results, the level shown at both pro and amateur level is something that will instil confidence in the sport moving forward in Ireland.

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