5 Things You Might Not Know About Joseph Duffy

By: Mark Raymundo
Mar 15, 2019

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Perhaps by now everybody is aware of the ease with which Joseph Duffy disposed of Conor McGregor at Cage Warriors 39. The man they call “Irish Joe” submitted the former Ultimate Fighting Championship two-division champion by arm-triangle choke in only 38 seconds. And as their rematch remains a vision, Duffy is slowly and silently climbing his way up.

Unfortunately, his two-fight winning streak was snapped by James Vick. This weekend, he will try to get back in the win column when he faces Marc Diakiese at UFC Fight Night 147. If you aren’t too familiar yet with the 31 year-old lightweight from Donegal, Ireland, read along.

He fought in professional boxing.

After the first loss of his career to Ivan Musardo, Duffy decided to pursue a career in boxing. And while he knew from a young age that he wanted a career in MMA, Duffy always wondered how he could have fared in the squared circle. This and the opportunity to work with the best coaches and sparring partners made the decision easier. In addition, there were sponsors ready to back him up financially. It turned out to be a great decision as Duffy went on to have a clean record of 7-0 before returning to MMA in 2014. All seven of his pro boxing bouts happened in 2013.

He's a Japanese jiu-jitsu black belt.

Japanese jiu-jitsu is regarded by some as the grandfather of all grappling techniques, and Duffy had practiced it extensively before he even learned boxing. He was, in fact, known as a submission fighter when he was just starting out in MMA as seven of his first eight professional MMA wins came by submission. Duffy eventually earned his black belt in Japanese jiu-jitsu under Heath Gait. He also happens to be a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt under Tristar Gym head coach Firas Zahabi.

He's beaten two future UFC fighters before they were famous.

McGregor isn’t the only future UFC fighter Duffy stopped. He also submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” winner Norman Parke at an event called Spartan Fight Challenge 3. Outside of these two big-name fighters, Duffy also scored impressive victories over respected regional veterans such as Julien Boussuge and Damien Lapilus.

He didn’t make it to ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ house.

Duffy was a contestant in the 12th installment of the UFC-produced reality show. Fans never saw him in the elimination round though as he was submitted by Kyle Watson in the entry stage. Watson went on to reach the semifinals against eventual winner Jonathan Brookins.

He’s a huge Mike Tyson fan.

Like many MMA fighters, Duffy finds inspiration in boxers, and for him, Tyson is the most entertaining of them all. He said he loves “Iron” Mike’s persona and style, and the fact that he was so dominant despite being undersized in the heavyweight division. Duffy enjoyed watching his fights when he was growing up. Advertisement

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