Who’s next for the six unmatched Irish fighters?


With the beer just cleared off of the 3Arena floor after UFC Dublin, and with UFC 194 just a few weeks away now seems a perfect time to look forward to the next series of fights for the six Irish fighters currently unmatched in the UFC and ponder who they might face.

Paul Redmond vs. Mikael Lebout

After giving up two featherweight losses in his first two UFC outings a move back to lightweight, which Redmond himself suggested was on the cards to my colleague Peter Carroll, is probably a good call. There, Frenchman Mikael Lebout seems a good opponent after himself losing in his last fight at the aforementioned UFC Dublin to Stevie Ray. When two European fighters meet it’s usually in Europe so the London card at the turn of the year is probably the place to have it.

Neil Seery vs. Wilson Reis

When Seery won via submission at UFC Dublin last month he was immediately blown up on Twitter by Wilson Reis for a fight and equally quickly agreed to it. And who would love to see that? Two of the most exciting flyweights around clashing, added to the fact Reis has previous with Dublin fighters when be beat Owen Roddy, and it seems like a no brainer. Possibly London, possibly Boston, possibly Brazil.

Paddy Holohan vs. Jon Delos Reyes

Now 3-2 in the UFC following his loss to Louis Smolka in the UFC Dublin main event, there are plenty of options for “The Hooligan” next time out. One of them might be Jon Delos Reyes who lost to Neil Seery on that night and will be a good match-up for Holohan to get back to winning ways.

Aisling Daly vs. Winner Cortney Casey/Soehee Ham

With any win in the UFC’s strawweight division, because of its new and relatively shallow nature, we tend to get a little carried away rankings wise. And while I wouldn’t rule out Daly being given someone like Joanne Calderwood or Carla Esparza next, I think the winner of the upcoming fight at UFC Seoul between Cortney Casey and Soehee Ham is more likely and, in the long-term, might help Daly get to the top quicker.

Cathal Pendred vs. Nico Musoke

Following a devastating KO loss to Tom Breese in Dublin Pendred is on record as saying he wants a bit of time off before his next outing so this will probably be well into next year and maybe on a Sweden card if one happens. Against Nico Musoke it’s another tough match-up and absolute must win for Pendred after consecutive losses but also a chance to roll back the clock and take on a man he already beat in 2011.

Norman Parke vs. Stevie Ray

In an absolutely packed lightweight division it’s almost pot luck to find a next opponent for Norman Parke but Scotland’s Stevie Ray might be the answer. Both men were impressive at UFC Dublin and with both sure to want a place on the upcoming UFC London it might make plenty of sense to match them up.

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

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