Cage Warrior Fighting Championship lost one of their top stars earlier this month to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Joseph Duffy (12-1) recently signed with the UFC and will be making his debut in the octagon in the near future. Even though people seem to think his claim to fame is being the last man to deal Conor McGregor a defeat, the bout was four years ago and McGregor was not the fighter he is today.
Neither is Jospeh Duffy. McGregor improved tenfold since their fight in CWFC and went on to become one of the UFC’s main attractions of 2014. Since his bout with “The Notorious One”, Duffy has gone 5-1 and was undefeated in 2014.
His victory over Damien Lapilus in August 2014 showcased a style that would be fun to watch in the octagon. Even though he fought with his hands down, he barely took any damage and was able to pick Lapilus apart until he earned a submission victory in the third round.
Duffy picked up another win three months later against Julien Boussuge but there is not much to analyze there as the bout ended in just thirty-six seconds. Duffy took to the center of the cage early and backed Boussuge up against the fence. As Boussuge ducked down either for a feign strike or a takedown attempt, Duffy blasted Boussuge with a right knee that sent him into space.
Despite only fighting twice in 2014, Duffy still showcased an impressive skill set in the CWFC cage. In the octagon, a fighter needs a healthy mix of grappling skills, patience, striking skills, a sense of urgency when necessary and the ability to push through adversity to have a successful run. Duffy has displayed all of these abilities, and he will continue to improve at such a young age.
It sounds cliche, but the lightweight division truly is the most stacked division in all of mixed martial arts. Duffy has not proven he has what it takes to hang with the top fifteen ranked lightweights, but there are a couple fighters who could elevate him to that stage.
Beneil Dariush: With an impressive fight against Charlie Brenneman, Dariush would be a great test for Duffy in his debut.
Ross Pearson: A few fights away from becoming a ranked lightweight, Pearson is still UFC-worthy. He has fought the likes of Dennis Siver, George Sotiropoulos, Diego Sanchez and Gray Maynard and performed well against them. If Duffy can get past Pearson, he can prove to the fans and media that he is not just “the guy who beat Conor McGregor”.
Tony Ferguson: Ferguson claimed in his post-fight interview at UFC 181 that all he wants to do is entertain the fans, and a fight with Joseph Duffy would be just that. Ferguson is far from a UFC Fight Pass preliminary fighter, but a bout between these two lightweights could easily kick off a Fight Pass exclusive event.