Could Paul Hughes Make the Jump to UFC?

Although it is not an everyday occurrence, it is not unheard of for an Irish man to jump from Cage Warriors to the UFC. Of course, that’s a reference to the meteoric rise of Conor McGregor.

A new rising Irish star is on the block, with Paul Hughes winning the vacant Interim Featherweight Title. He defeated Morgan Charrière by majority decision in an emotional battle for the young man. However, does he have what it takes to make the jump to the UFC?

Become a Unified Champion

On his way to the UFC, McGregor was a two-weight champion in Cage Warriors. He also achieved this title in the UFC and solidified himself as one of the best. Another way to become a unified champion is to win against someone who beat you in the past, as Dustin Poirier did with McGregor twice this year. In doing so, Poirier has earned a lightweight title match against Charles Oliveira. By examining the latest MMA and boxing betting odds, we can see Poirier is favored at -160 compared to Oliveira at +130, with Poirier poised to cap off a tremendous year.

These are two routes that Paul Hughes can take if he is to unify the featherweight championship. Jordan Vucenic is the current champion but couldn’t defend his title against Morgan Charriere due to injury. Hughes took his place, which resulted in him becoming the interim featherweight champion. However, the only loss in Hughes’ Cage Warriors career came at the hands of Vucenic. If he were to gain his revenge and capture the undisputed championship, it would elevate his status in the world of MMA tremendously. 

Stay Injury Free

In line with the McGregor comparison, Hughes needs to stay injury-free to build up a run of form. McGregor suffered a nasty leg injury this year against Poirier, with many calling into question if he will be able to bounce back from it. Despite this, some believe McGregor will come back stronger. Until he proves himself in the octagon consistently, people will have their doubts. 

Like McGregor, Hughes suffered an unfortunate injury, although his injury concerns were more persistent and earlier in his career. He has broken his hand a total of four times, three in the same place, all within a year. That was four years ago, and he looks to have recovered since then with no significant setbacks. However, it was at a prime developmental stage when he was gaining traction, and it caused him to lose some momentum and time. If he is to elevate himself to the sport’s upper echelon, he needs to remain out of the emergency room. 

Maintain His Workrate

Everybody in the sport will tell you that it takes an extraordinary amount of work. When competing, it’s one-on-one, and if you lose, there’s nobody to blame but yourself and the preparation you put in. Nevertheless, Hughes seems to be a highly motivated athlete with dreams of reaching the top of the sport. His emotional display when winning the title shows the amount he cares about the sport and that, despite setbacks, he’s willing to work hard. If he continues on his trajectory, the sky is truly the limit for this Irish man. 

Severe MMA Staff