Cathal Pendred: Croke Parke and the Aviva are both fighting for Irish UFC event

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Ahead of his January 18 bout with Sean Spencer in his birthplace, Boston, UFC welterweight Cathal Pendred shed some light on some issues closer to home.

With Irish MMA fans being pretty much left in the dark as to what plans UFC have for the much anticipated stadium show this year, Pendred laid down some hot facts with regard to what’s going on behind the scenes.

“I know that when the UFC first went looking for a venue, both the Aviva and Croke Park were tentative about it. They weren’t too sure about it, they just didn’t know if they wanted to do it at all,” revealed the former Cage Warriors welterweight champion.

“Now, I know that they are both fighting for it. It is not settled on Croker, the Aviva are still in it and they both want it badly. I don’t know which one it’s going to be, Croker would be amazing but so would the Aviva. One will happen for sure.”

Pendred also commented on what it would be like to compete in the historic GAA ground, which has played a significant role in Irish history. Such was importance for Irish rugby players to perform in the ground in February 2007 against England, when the Irish national anthem, “Amhrán na bhFiann”, was played on the day it brought some of the players to tears.

“100 per cent it would be emotional to compete in Croke Park,” said Pendred. “That being said, one thing that we always make a point of doing is keeping our emotions intact. Everyone on the team, we always discuss this. Emotions can falter your performance. We can embrace the emotion, but only after our hands have been raised.

“There is a lot of history in Croke Park, a lot of history. Irish people have shed blood in that arena and for us to perform in there, representing our country against other countries, in combat – to have our hands raised would be unbelievable.

“They’re saying that there would be 90,000 people there if they did it in that stadium – it would definitely be an emotional moment.”

Stay tuned to SevereMMA.com for more from Cathal Pendred and the rest of the Irish cast of UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs Siver.

@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.