The UFC will make a long awaited and eagerly anticipated return to the 3Arena in Dublin on August 15. It has been almost five years since we last saw MMA’s biggest promotion hold an event in Ireland.
On that occasion Paddy Holohan fell to a defeat against Louis Smolka in the main event on October 24, 2015.
The UFC have just two Irish fighters on the roster right now. One is of course Conor McGregor, who won’t be fighting on the card billed as a simple fight night. The other is Joe Duffy who has been out of the cage for almost a year after suffering back to back defeats against Marc Diakiese and James Vick.
The UFC are in desperate need of some new Irish blood to populate the upcoming event in Dublin. Here’s four fighters they should consider signing.
Rhys McKee (10-2)
The 24-year-old from Northern Ireland is on the cusp of achieving great things in MMA. He’ll get the chance to claim the recently vacant Cage Warriors welterweight title on May 16 at the SSE Arena in Belfast. By adding such a prestigious title to his resume, ‘Skeletor’ would become a prime candidate for a UFC call up. He has already held a title in BAMMA and has high profile wins over UFC London fighter Jai Herbert and Tim Barnett. It appears to be just a matter of time before he gets his call to the big show.
Paul Hughes (4-0)
Undefeated prospect Paul Hughes could be fast tracked to the UFC. The 22-year-old is another Cage Warriors prospect with a ton of talent. So far, he has been flawless during his professional career with four stoppages in four fights. He’ll next compete on March 7 in Manchester, England against Youri Panada at Cage Warriors 112. Hughes will then begin preparations for his next fight, potentially in the UFC.
Ian Garry (3-0)
Ian Garry has everything it takes to be the next superstar from Ireland. Just three fights into his young career, he has already shown some serious skills inside the cage. Outside of fighting, he’s a brilliant talker and comes across well in every interview he does. Garry even managed to go viral late last year when he captured a touching moment with his grandfather. This combination of top-level fighting skills and vibrant personality is exactly what took Conor McGregor to the top. Garry could well be following in his footsteps in the not too distant future.
Chris Fields (12-8-1)
The 36-year-old veteran is a popular man around Dublin. He runs Team KF which houses some top talent including the previously mentioned Ian Garry and former Cage Warriors champion, James Webb. Beyond that, Fields is a solid fighter himself, he holds wins over the likes of Jack Mason and Lee Chadwick. The UFC could sign Fields and match him up with Scotsman Paul Craig, finally making the once scheduled, but ultimately cancelled, bout between the two men. Before any of that is possible, Fields needs to fight and win, after being inactive since losing to Wagner Prado in June 2018.