Ireland’s Next Star – Paul Redmond

redser

It has been a magnificent couple of years for Irish MMA. From John Kavanagh coaching Gunnar Nelson in his UFC debut, to Norman Parke winning TUF, to Conor McGregor ploughing a furrow never seen in the sport before, to everything and everyone that came after it. It’s almost as if the floodgates have been opened and all the talent which was teetering on the banks burst onto the scene all at once. The question now, though, is what’s next? And more specifically, who is next?

Paul Redmond is the name that comes to mind. The Dubliner is probably the most highly touted Irish fighter not currently in the UFC, and with good reason. He has amassed a 10-4 professional record as a lightweight and has only tasted defeat once in his last eight outings due to a flash submission inside the first minute of the fight.

“Redser” is a solid jiu-jitsu player and a noted toehold specialist, an increasingly unusual submission in today’s game. Recently, though, his stand up game has come on leaps and bounds. And it was showcased to great effect in his last fight against the dangerous Greek prospect Alexis Savvidis in August. Redmond’s boxing looked more crisp and fluid than ever before. He beat the striker on the feet before sinking in his patented toehold when the bout hit the mat. It was a victory similar to many in his career but the method by which he attained it was different. He was not only more skilful than ever, he looked calmer in putting those skills into action. It looked natural and lucid in all areas. The improvement in his game was clear.

Redmond is seemingly on a similar path to most of the other Irishman who have transitioned to the Octagon. He is a long-term Cage Warriors fighter and can’t be too far away from getting a title shot. If he wins it, he will follow the like of Conor McGregor, Cathal Pendred and Neil Seery as Irish Cage Warriors champions.

It’s Seery, though, who is the one he looks to the most. The UFC flyweight is a teammate of Redmond at Andy Ryan’s Team Ryano gym in Dublin. Seery was the first from the gym to make the big breakthrough and has been side by side with Redmond through both of their respective careers – cornering each other on many occasions. As Conor McGregor showed, once the tracks are laid from a gym to the UFC it’s better set for the next journey.

Redmond’s exciting style has garnered him a huge fanbase evident by the deafening pop he gets for events in his home city. Also evident is the amount of support he has gotten from the Irish MMA community, and beyond, online to be signed by the UFC with multiple rallies for his signature before and after July’s UFC Dublin.

There’s a strong likelihood that Paul Redmond’s next fight will be in Dublin on the annual Cage Warriors New Years Eve show. Win that and a CWFC title shot or UFC call will surely be Redser’s next destination. Whatever the case is, Redmond is on the right path. If the vast improvement in his game continues it’s a matter of when he transitions to the UFC, not if. Paul Redmond can only be delayed, he cannot be denied.

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma