Tom Breese on Joe Duffy’s “huge improvements” since Poirier defeat

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Undefeated UFC welterweight Tom Breese has claimed that his Tristar teammate ‘Irish Joe’ Duffy has made “huge improvements” as a fighter since his first UFC loss to Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier in January.

A former professional boxer, Duffy went the distance with the surging lightweight but found his attacks stifled due to the American’s wrestling. Breese claimed that the main improvement in the Donegal man’s game has come in the grappling department.

The Englishman also highlighted that he hasn’t been the only one to notice the further development of the Irishman’s grappling at the world renowned Tristar Gym in Montreal.

“Joe is looking great in training,” said Breese, who meets Sean Strickland at UFC 199 on Saturday night in California.

“A lot of people around Tristar have been noticing big improvements in his game. I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the gym about it. His improvements since the Poirier fight have been huge and they’re mainly in the grappling area from what I’ve seen.”

Breese also revealed that Duffy has been visiting the headquarters of Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Renzo Gracie in New York. Gracie’s academy boasts some of the most celebrated jiu-jitsu players in the world, and Breese claimed that training with them has helped both he and Duffy a lot.

“He’s been going over to train in New York with Renzo Gracie’s team. He’s gone quite a few times with at this stage. We get amazing jiu jitsu training with those guys and we get to learn from people like John Danaher, and he’s one of the best jiu-jitsu minds in the world. We’ve had a few private lessons with him and we learned so much from them.

“Honestly, his whole game has come on, but the improvements in his grappling are massive. He’s definitely improved as a fighter since Poirier.”

@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.