Joseph Duffy: “I still won’t rule out a move to 145”

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‘Irish Joe’ Duffy is the midst of his second camp at the world renowned Tristar Gym and although the weather is a lot better than it was in the lead up to his January bout with Jake Lindsey, it’s business as usual for the Donegal man in Montreal.

“It’s amazing to be back in Montreal, and the sun is shining this time too so that makes it twice as good,” said Duffy. “It was really cold the last time. We’re talking minus 20 degrees, so it was a bit of a culture shock the first time around.

“It’s nice to have the good weather, but we really spend the majority of our time in the team dorms. I just get my training in and come back here and rest up for the next session. Sometimes I have a wander about the place to pick up a few bits and pieces, but the weather is really just for the bit of down time we get on the weekend.

“I’ve been out and about a bit more this time, but I still haven’t really seen a lot of the city. I’m here to train, that’s why I’ve made the journey so everything else is just an afterthought really.”

A lot of people were adamant that Duffy would make his sophomore walk to the Octagon as a featherweight. As the Irishman explained, his July 18 bout with Ivan Jorge came up so quickly that his coaches at Tristar didn’t get a chance to really decide on a drop in weight class.

“The (Jorge) fight got lined up sharpish, so we didn’t really get a chance to sit down and have that chat. I spoke to the nutritionist over here and he certainly feels like it’s something that I can do. As soon as we heard about this fight, all of our attention shifted straight to the preparation.”

There is no denying how good Duffy looked as he picked Lindsey apart in the first round of their March 14 in Dallas. Such has his success been on his return to the sport at lightweight, the Tristar man maintained he is no rush to move to featherweight, although he is not ready to completely close the door on the idea of the lighter bracket.

“I’m comfortable here at 155. It’s not like I’ve been out of sorts and I needed to drop down a division. The only reason we were ever considering 145 was because when the guys at Tristar saw me they thought my frame would be suited to that weight class.

“This is my second trip over to them now and they will be able to get a better read of how my body reacts outside of a camp and everything else. All these factors do play into the decision and eventually they will make it easier for us to make a long-term decision. I still won’t rule out a move to 145, but I’ll leave it all open and take it one fight at a time.”

Duffy discussed what he is expecting from the UFC’s first trip to Scotland, and how he is looking forward to seeing a few familiar faces at the event.

“It’s strange that I had to travel so far for the debut and now I’m going back to Europe. I don’t care where I have to fight really, we’re still going to be in the Octagon, we’re still going to be fighting – so it’s always the same thing.

“The fact that this fight is going to be closer to home makes it extra special though. I’ve got a lot of friends in Donegal, Wales and London that will make the trip, so I think the atmosphere will be out of this world.

“The Irish and the Scottish get on quite well so I think when the two of them fan bases come together, the atmosphere will be electric. There’s going to be a good contingent of Irish fighters so I can definitely see people travelling for this one, I’ve heard the flights are going at a good rate too. I don’t see why it can’t be like the Dublin show all over again,” said Duffy.

Duffy claimed that based on the Brazilian’s experience, Jorge will be toughest opponent he has faced to date.

“I had a good look at his footage,” Duffy explained. “He’s very experienced, I think he has twice as many fights as I’ve had. He’s got a good record in and out of the UFC, so I know I’m in for my toughest test to date. I’ve already started preparing for this and I know that when the days comes I’ll be ready.”

Duffy and the Tristar camp kept their cards close their chests in the lead up to his debut and almost bluffed the Irish fans by saying they imagined tough decision win for the Donegal charge. Duffy explained that as he climbs the 155 lbs ranks, the level of his opponents will improve so he tries not to compete with his previous performances when he goes about his business.

He said: “The way I look at it, I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. I feel like I’m always improving and that my game has improved all round. I always factor in that as I move up through the ranks, the level of my opponents moves up too.

“I try not to compete with my previous performances or anyone else’s performances. I just keep showing up on the night and doing my thing. The most important thing is always going to be getting the win.”

Finally, Duffy spoke about how far the Irish MMA scene has come with four dates in Brazil, Mexico, Vegas and Scotland coming in the next two months.

“These next two months are really going to show how far Irish MMA has come. You’ve got our guys fighting in four different countries, it’s showing that everyone is starting to move up to a new level. Our MMA athletes are being shown to the rest of the world. It’s a huge two months for the sport in Ireland.”

@PetesyCarroll

Ireland's leading MMA media outlet. Home of Severe MMA Podcast. Producers of 'Notorious,' 'The Fighting Irish' & other MMA docus