He said we would see ‘The Hooligan’ return, he wasn’t lying

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It’s rare to see everyone on their feet for the first preliminary bout of the evening, but isn’t as shocking when Paddy “The Hooligan” is involved.

The Tallaght man’s striking looked better than ever as he fired of a dynamic mixture of shots in the opening exchanges. As the classic chants of ‘Ole, Ole, Ole’, went up around stadium, Sampo mockingly mouthed the famous Irish football chant back at the SBG man.

Unimpressed, ‘The Hooligan’ fired off two beautiful uppercuts with his right hand, dropping the American with the second.

Roars of ‘Paddy, Paddy, Paddy’ went up around The 02 as the two stalled momentarily in half guard. Sampo locked up an arm and may have finished a lesser man, but Holohan managed to leap across his counterpart’s body into side control.

From there the jiu jitsu ace took Sampo’s back and fought off the American’s defending arm to sink in the choke.

The crowd lit up as Sampo’s hand signaled the end of the bout.

Holohan said we would see the return of ‘The Hooligan’, an alter ego of his that he hasn’t even seen in nearly two years.

“Guys, you know who I am,” he roared to the packed house, “I’m a working class guy, that came from nothing to something. John Kavanagh never asked me for a penny and brought me to this stage. If I can do it, you can do it too.”

This could be the beginning of something prosperous for the UFC, Paddy Holohan and the Irish assault on the flyweight division.

@PetesyCarroll

Peter Carroll is Severe MMA's lead feature writer. He has been featured in many top publications and some rubbish ones too. He also writes for the Irish Daily Mirror and Vice's Fightland.