Written by Ty Reynolds @MMAtylander
Today is an exceptionally grand day to be one Patrick “Paddy” Holohan.
That’s not to say that most days haven’t already been at least a little bit grand for Holohan recently, though. The chances are that should you have the opportunity to find yourself in a chat with the Irishman, you likely won’t hear him complain much about his current lot in life. He’s closing in on securing a ranking within the UFC’s flyweight division and is already beloved by his countryman due to his role in pioneering Irish MMA. Life could be worse for the 27 year old veteran and it’s very likely he is aware of that fact.
He earned his spot in the industry and deserves to spend a few days in the sun (or Irish rain if that’s all that can be found….) after all of his hardships inside the cage. Standing out in the regional MMA scenes of a country known to be full of individuals who certainly seem to enjoy participating in a solid scrap from time to time, legally sanctioned or otherwise, is bound to have produced some moments of adversity that likely required a healthy Gaelic gut check from Holohan every now and then. It takes an uncommon amount of skill, grit, and determination to survive and thrive within the fight scene of the Emerald Isle, so Patrick Holohan is owed more than just a few good days at this point in his career journey.
October 24, 2015, however, has the potential to be more than just another good day for the SBG Ireland representative. October 24, 2015 has the potential to be the luckiest day of “The Hooligan’s” professional life. Hell, October 24, 2015 could feasibly make an argument for inclusion on the list of the luckiest days in any fighter’s life.
Today will be the first day in Paddy Holohan’s life that will witness him compete in a main event for the world’s top Mixed Martial Arts promotion. This after originally being scheduled to only appear on the main card of the event, and then as the co-main.
It took more than just Holohan’s aforementioned history of paying dues to earn him the opportunity. It took some mighty fine good luck. Or horrifyingly bad luck as far as Joseph Duffy, Dustin Porier, Stipe Miocic, and Ben Rothwell are concerned….These four men once comprised the scheduled main and co-main events for UFN 76 before notably late injuries (A concussion only a week out from fight night? Seriously?) and questionable managerial decisions (Sorry Parke, but Poirier’s managers don’t think you’re worth the risk) successfully flicked each off of the marquee.
Regardless of perspective, however, good ol’ Uncle Luck has definitely made his presence known and Holohan has been the largest beneficiary of his most recent impromptu visit. A helluva lot of totally unexpected craziness had to occur for Holohan to reach the main event of this particular card, so that much is undeniably clear. What might not be so visible, however, is the sheer scope of the opportunity that this enormous amount of extraordinary good fortune has placed at Holohan’s boots.
As if the circumstances weren’t already serendipitous enough for Paddy, his now feature contest against Louis Smolka will take place in the 3Arena in front of his hometown of Dublin, Ireland, and some of the most rabid fight fans on planet Earth; fans who already possess a strong love deep in their angry little hearts for their fellow Dublin scrapper. Holohan could’ve already expected their support before ascending to the top of the card, but now he will have the privilege of walking the aisle as their final representative of the evening, a spot sure to raise the decibel level a notch or three when John Kavanagh’s protege makes his entrance.
That’s not even the last of it. His opponent, Louis Smolka, hasn’t been touched on yet. The outcome of the 24 year old Hawaiian’s last bout was the core reason for his assignment against Holohan and adds yet another layer to this gobstopper-like backstory. Smolka’s victory last July over Neil Seery, another beloved Irish veteran, has stoked something of a rivalry and offered Holohan the chance to avenge his countryman’s defeat. Preventing Smolka from acquiring his 10th victory while also protecting the integrity of Ireland’s home turf in the process was always Holohan’s main objective, but now his quest for that achievement will be the showcase story line during the broadcast of the event.
It just keeps getting better for Paddy Holohan. With his career already moving upward, Paddy has a main card , turned co-main, turned main event spot in his home town arena in front of his hometown fans against a man who just beat up a member of his hometown clan. As a bonus, he is also bound to be in store to receive at least some promotional goodwill for being ready and able to save an important international card that was receiving more hype than its UFC Fight Pass placement tended to suggest, and he should rightfully be entitled to a little more of that highly-rationed Reebok cash.
Yeah, things are already going pretty darn well for one Mr. Holohan. Better than ever, probably. Now imagine if he goes out and picks up the win…..
Defeating a tough prospect like Smolka under this spotlight will do far more for Holohan than just move him to 13-1-1 and 4-1 inside the UFC with a 3-fight win streak. Making his young opponent pay for daring to halt a fellow Irishman’s chances at victory will, on this occasion, also do more than simply push “The Hooligan” into the bottom part of the flyweight top 15. Beating Louis “Da Last Samurai” Smoka on October 24, 2015 in the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland will be a signature moment, the signature moment, so far in Holohan’s already successful career.
Paddy Holohan can become a legitimate star for the UFC today, or at least lay the foundation for a future as one. Its basically a guarantee that this isn’t a scenario that anyone can honestly claim to have foreseen, but it is the reality, nonetheless. The blessings of well-timed luck have brought the longtime Irish warrior to the precipice of entering a new stage of professional acclaim and recognition….but it won’t take him any further.
Now its back to doing what Holohan has been doing for more than 8 combat-filled years. Now its time for that skill, grit, and determination to take the forefront once again and for another one of those legendary Gaelic gut checks to win the day. Now its time to stop being damn lucky and start being damn good, something Bad Paddy Hooligan has already proven he can be. Now its time for him to prove that the main event is where he was always destined to be.