Joseph Duffy: “Things are starting to click back into place” ahead of Cage Warriors 74


When news emerged earlier this year that Joseph Duffy was to return to Mixed Martial Arts after a three year hiatus, it was greeted with a notable degree of anticipation.

For Cage Warriors, his employers now, and when he last competed inside the cage, generating excitement for his comeback, whether it be with the media or fans, was a decidedly easy task. The reasons were twofold.

Not only had Duffy amassed a 7-0 pro boxing record during his time away from the sport but, more importantly, he was the last man to defeat fellow countrymen and two of the UFC’s hottest prospects, Conor McGregor and Norman Parke. Duffy turned over both men with first round submissions in consecutive bouts during 2010.

With the stage set, Duffy didn’t disappoint. This past August, at Cage Warriors 70, he locked up an air-tight rear-naked choke on fellow lightweight Damien Lapilus, to earn a third round submission victory in front of a raucous crowd at the Helix in Dublin.

Now, on the eve Saturday’s fight with France’s Julien Boussuge, at Cage Warriors 74 in London, Duffy says preparations this time round have been far smoother thanks to having that all-important win under his belt.

“I feel a hell of a lot better for this one. Things are starting to click back into place, and are a lot better than they were in the last fight, so fingers crossed it’ll all come together on Saturday night.

“I feel good and prepared in all areas, so if he (Boussuge) makes a mistake or leaves a gap, I feel like I’ve got the ability to spot that and take advantage. However it happens, I don’t care, as long as I get my hand raised at the end of the night.”

Duffy will lock horns with Boussage third from top of the main card in the Copper Box Arena, before Pannie Kianzad and Eeva Siiskonen fight for the inaugural women’s bantamweight title, and Nicolas Dalby defends his welterweight crown against Mohsen Bahari.

He claims to have studied tape of Boussage, to a certain extent, noting his impressive judo game, while not over-analysing the Frenchmen, because of the countless intangibles which can occur at this level.

“I didn’t want to look too much into Julien’s game, but I want to have an idea of what I’m up against, so I’ve watched him a little bit. To a degree, it’s tailored towards them and their threats, and the gaps I spot in them. But not in too much depth, because they’re looking to come out and mix it up to catch you off guard. Julien is a real good fighter, and if you’ve got your eye off the ball, you come unstuck. So I’ll take this fight, see how I feel in there, and just move forward.”

With his boxing pedigree, Duffy feels he has a clear advantage on the feet, and says his stint in the ring was hugely educational, particularly in terms of timing and anticipation.

“The two main things were learning to the spot the right shots and defence. They were the two most beneficial things I got from boxing, and it has transferred over really well.

“When you read up on the stats for MMA, the majority of the knockouts come from the hands, so it’s obviously the most valuable weapon. So, if you can be ahead of the game there, then you’re on to a winner.”

Great things have been predicted for the 26-year-old but, as of now, his focus remains on the next fight, getting the best training wherever possible and ensuring he’s known for more than being the last man to get the better of the omnipresent Conor McGregor.

“I take things each day as it comes, but training-wise, I try to plan ahead. I’m thinking about doing my camps abroad in the New Year, to get a higher level of training all the time. In terms of ambition, I just take it one fight at a time and then evaluate where I’m at.

“I’ve said in interviews, that I have no interest in being known as someone who’s beaten a guy who has achieved a lot. I’m just looking forward, and planning on getting to the levels I expect of myself.”


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.