12 Best Irish UFC Fighters in History (2024 Rankings)

As Conor McGregor became increasingly popular in the UFC world, he inspired the younger generation to start training. As a result, Irish UFC fighters are becoming more prevalent as the nation’s athletes continue to enter the organization in growing numbers.

Greatest Irish UFC fighters side by side

Below, we discuss the greatest Irish UFC fighters of all time. We dive into their careers and explain how these legends shaped MMA as we know it.

1. Conor McGregor

Top Finishes: Conor McGregor

Weight Class Featherweight/Lightweight/Welterweight
Record (W/L) 22-6
Height/Weight 5’9 / 156 lbs
Years Active 2008-Present

You can’t talk about Irish UFC fighters without talking about one of the GOATs, Conor McGregor. He’s a former 2-division champion and one of the biggest UFC stars in the world.

Simply put, there is Conor and everyone else below him. His talent and charisma are unmatched, with no other Irish UFC fighter coming close. He’s one of the greatest strikers the UFC has ever seen.

Many think Conor’s success was overnight, but the Irishman ground and trained for years to get to where he is. Conor grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and started learning boxing at 12.

He started training at Crumlin Boxing Club to learn to defend himself against bullies. McGregor continued boxing throughout his teens and even competed in some amateur tournaments.

In 2006, Conor met Irish MMA fighter Tom Egan. Tom was the second Irish fighter in history that competed at UFC 93 in Belfast, Ireland.

McGregor would begin learning MMA with Egan and fight as an amateur in 2007. His amateur career would consist of one fight that took place in his hometown of Dublin.

The young fighter knocked his opponent out in the first round and announced that he was turning pro after the fight. Shortly after, Conor signed a pro contract with Irish MMA promotion Irish Cage of Truth.

His career as a pro-MMA fighter began in 2008, which was the same time Conor switched camps. At the same time, Conor turned pro, he would join SBG: Ireland under longtime trainer John Kavanagh.

McGregor had four fights in his hometown of Dublin to start his pro career. He started his career in the featherweight division and earned three TKO wins in his first year as a pro. Conor also lost his first match by submission, which would be a theme in his early losses.

The future star would go on a two-year break from fighting, where he contemplated retirement. After his mother and trainer convinced McGregor to keep fighting, the young fighter would return to fighting in 2010.

Conor would land another TKO over Connor Dillon at Chaos FC 7 in Northern Ireland in his return. His second fight of 2010 would be against fellow future Irishman Joe Duffy.

Joe again exposed Conor’s grappling game by getting him to the ground and locking in an arm triangle. McGregor was devastated by the loss but used it as motivation to go on the run of his career. This loss to Duffy led to the beginning of “The Notorious” McGregor, which we would all know.

Conor knew he was talented but had to let his opponents and promoters know. He started building up his fights and began predicting knockout finishes.

Over the next two years, Conor began making a name for himself by running through Ireland and the UK’s best fighters. He went on an 8-fight win streak, with all wins coming by finishes.

The biggest wins of this streak were on the famous Cage Warriors promotion. Prior to entering the UFC, McGregor first won both the Cage Warriors featherweight and lightweight titles. A feat that Conor promised to fulfill once he entered the UFC.

There was a growing buzz around Conor as he made his UFC debut at a UFC on Fuel TV event in Stockholm, Sweden. He faced American fighter Marcus Brimmage and quickly ended the prelim bout with a 1st round KO at 1:07.

After the spectacular knockout, Conor would give fans a small taste of his huge personality and promo skills. In his post-fight interview, Conor promised to take the featherweight belt and KO everyone before him.

The buzz only increased as the Irish fighter started gaining fans. His second UFC match pitted the Irishman against future featherweight champion Max Holloway at a UFC Fight Night in Massachusetts.

The pro-Irish crowd gave Conor a loud applause as he displayed some of the best technical striking of his career. Holloway showed sparks of a future champion, but McGregor out-dueled him for fifteen minutes to earn his second UFC win.

Before Conor’s 3rd UFC fight, we saw glimpses of the chaos and drama a McGregor fight could bring. He faced former TUF competitor and wildman in Diego Brandao.

The two hotheads faced off in a tense battle in front of a soldout crowd in Dublin. This fight is where many came aware of the potential star power of McGregor.

He evaded Brandao’s power shots to deliver another first-round knockout. This big win set Conor up to fight another future lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier.

Conor would get the better of Poirier in their first bout by finding his chin and delivering another early KO. After this big win, McGregor really started calling for a title bout against Jose Aldo.

He made quick work of veteran Dennis Siver in his next fight to get his title shot against the champ. The hype was building up as Conor began doing various antics and coming up with new insults for Jose.

Their title match was delayed because Aldo sustained an injury that forced him to withdraw. His last-minute replacement was against Chad Mendes on a week’s notice.

Notorious was better conditioned and made easy work of the former title challenger. McGregor dropped Mendes at the end of the 2nd round to give Conor the win.

The new interim featherweight champ, Conor, claimed he was the true champ, and the saga with Aldo continued.

When they finally met at UFC 194 in 2015, tensions were high, and millions tuned in to watch a war. Conor would come out on top with a shocking 12-second knockout win.

In one of the most spectacular moments in UFC history, McGregor became the new featherweight champ. McGregor wasn’t shocked by the result and said he would also claim the lightweight title.

The new champ was scheduled to make his lightweight debut at UFC 196. An injury pulled his opponent days before the fight, which led to TUF winner Nate Diaz stepping in

The brash fighter from Stockton would enter into a war of words with the Irish fighter, which is still happening. Hardcore fans knew Conor would have trouble dealing with a larger fighter with superior grappling, like Nate.

Conor started their main event bout quickly and began looking for the knockout. He hit Diaz multiple times, but his gas soon faded.

Nate would then take over, slapping the featherweight champ before getting him to the ground and submitting him. This shocking loss would set up the biggest PPV fight in UFC history.

Everyone tuned in to watch the anticipated rematch between Nate and Conor. The Irishman was more prepared this time, and the two went to war at UFC 202.

The two would go back and forth, trading bombs for five rounds in a spectacular bout. Judges awarded the decision to Conor to even the series. A third fight in their rivalry is always discussed but has never come to fruition.

This win against Nate led Conor to get a title match against lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez. Eddie’s bruising forward style would play right into Conor’s counter-punching style.

The featherweight champ picked the lightweight champ apart and evaded his takedowns. Conor would finally find the knockout in the 2nd round to become a 2-division champion.

At this point, Conor was already a superstar but wanted his popularity to transcend sports. He began calling out boxing legend Floyd Mayweather for a cross-over bout featuring a UFC champ vs. boxing champ.

Despite zero pro boxing experience, the event generated nearly half a billion dollars in revenue. Conor would start an early fight, but the experienced boxer finished the MMA fighter in the tenth round.

This boxing match was the biggest payday of McGregor’s career, leading to various business ventures. The biggest is Conor developing his brand of whiskey called Proper 12.

After taking a year off from MMA, Conor would return in a normal, chaotic fashion. His first act of chaos would be at a UFC event in New York featuring one of the greatest Russian UFC fighters, Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Khabib’s confrontation with Conor’s former training partner, Artem Lobov, led to an enraged and inebriated Conor wreaking havoc. Chaos ensued when Conor threw a dolly at a bus Khabib was in and injured multiple fighters.

The tension would only grow from there as Conor unleashed barrages of personal attacks against Khabib and his family.

Their fight at UFC 229 in Las Vegas was the most-bought UFC PPV in history, with 2.4 million buys. Conor would get grappled by the Daegastani fighter before getting submitted in the 4th, and Khabib started a riot.

Even though Conor lost, he accomplished his goal of earning a lot of money and creating a spectacle. It would be two years and several incidents before McGregor returned to fighting in 2020.

He made easy work of Donald Cerrone before meeting Dustin Poirier in the rematch at UFC 257. Poirier would shock the former champion with a 2nd round TKO to even the series.

The loss led to Conor’s Notorious personality re-emerging to cause drama before their third match. Their third match would be a shocking ending, but not the one Conor wanted.

After eating a calf kick, Conor sprained his ankle before completely breaking his ankle on a backstep. Since the loss, Conor has been rehabbing and vowing a comeback to earn another title.

At this point, with Conor’s various incidents in his personal life, no one is sure if he’ll fight again. But even if he doesn’t, Conor has established himself as one of the biggest stars in combat sports history.

He owns all of the UFC PPV records, and Mayweather owns the record for the biggest boxing PPV. McGregor is a star among stars, who is a once-in-a-generation talent. Being that Connor sells tickets, it’s no surprise that he’s one of the highest-paid UFC fighters of all time.

2. Patrick “Paddy” Holohan

Fight Night Dublin: UFC On the Fly - Paddy Holohan

Weight Class Bantamweight/Flyweight
Record (W/L) 12-2
Height/Weight 5’9 / 125 lbs
Years Active 2007-2016

Easily one of the top Irish UFC fighters ever and owner of the most Irish name ever is Partick “Paddy” Holohan. Growing up, Holohan had to get tough quickly.

After two of his siblings died when Paddy was a baby, his mother was institutionalized due to grief. During his early years, Patrick would live with his aunt in Belfast during the Troubles.

His grandfather would become his father figure, who Holohan credits with instilling discipline within him.

When Paddy became a father at nineteen, he began pursuing a career as a pro-MMA fighter. Patrick started training at Straight Blast Gym in Ireland with John Kavanagh and famed teammate Conor McGregor.

But unlike McGregor, Holohan was more of a grappler with some of the best MMA grappling in his country. Paddy began his career as a pro-MMA fighter in 2007 against Shane Bane at the ROT7 event in Dublin.

Paddy won his MMA debut by submission and earned an undefeated 9-0-1 fighting in Ireland.

Holohan’s first break would come as he was invited to contest in the Rousey vs. Tate season of TUF. The Irishman unfortunately came up short on the show as he lost an elimination bout to a bigger opponent.

Despite the loss, Holohan still found his way into the UFC with the addition of the men’s flyweight division. Paddy debuted his UFC on the undercard of the soldout McGregor vs. Brandao fight night in 2014.

The Irish flyweight brought the crowd to their feet as he submitted Josh Sampo by RNC in the first round. This win led Paddy to get offered more fights and continue fighting with the promotion for one more year.

During this period, Paddy would go 3-2 in his UFC career and cracked the top ranks of the flyweight division.

Paddy was scheduled to fight Willie Gates in 2016, but pre-fight blood tests revealed he had a rare blood disorder. This disorder forced Paddy to pull out of the fight and retire from the sport.

After retiring from fighting, Paddy would enter into local politics. In 2019, Patrick was elected to the South Dublin County Council.

After getting on the country council, Paddy made controversial comments on a podcast that received backlash. The former UFC fighter claimed that young Irish women were extorting.

These remarks, without evidence, led many to call for Holohan’s political party to discipline him. After a short suspension, Patrick’s political party nominated him as a candidate to become the mayor of South Dublin.

The election bid failed, followed by more controversy. Paddy also broke the news that he didn’t renew his membership with his political party and is now an independent.

No matter what Paddy Holohan does now, he’ll always be remembered as one of the most successful fighters ever.

3. Ian Garry

Ian Garry Career Highlights!!!││Career Timeline││#ufchighlights #ufc #iangarry

Weight Class Welterweight
Record (W/L) 13-0
Height/Weight 6’3 / 170 lbs
Years Active 2019-present

Ian Machado Garry is one of the hottest fighters currently fighting in the promotion. The young Irish fighter is a massive welterweight, standing at 6 foot 3 (1.91 m) and a 74.5-inch reach.

His length and reach advantage, mixed with highly technical striking, have made Garry a dangerous fighter. At 10, Garry started boxing and a few years later saw Conor McGregor enter the UFC.

McGregor inspired Garry to start learning Judo, which led to him earning his blackbelt at eighteen. He wouldn’t commit to becoming an MMA fighter until he was nineteen and found no interest in college.

Ian would spend 2017 fighting as an amateur, competing in 7 matches and earning a 7-1 record. He would then make his pro debut at Cage Warrior 101.

Garry earned a decision win over James Sheehan in February of 2009. In his next five bouts, Ian finished all of his opponents by knockout or submission.

His last Cage Warriors bout was a decision win over Jack Grant to win the promotion’s welterweight title.

Garry was the most talked about prospect not signed by the UFC. Many wondered if the young Irishman would become one of history’s best Irish MMA fighters.

The UFC signed Garry to a lucrative contract and set him up to fight at UFC 268 against Jordan Williams. Like his idol Conor, Ian was brash and confident from the start of his UFC run.

He knows he’s good and will tell everyone how good he is. Ian made an emphatic statement by knocking out Jordan Williams with solid punching.

Garry has stayed busy since his UFC debut in 2021, fighting in six fights in a 2-year span. All of which have been one-sided affairs.

His best performance to date(so far) was against welterweight contender Daniel Rodriguez. The Irish fighter outclassed Rodriguez on the feet to stop him with strikes in the first round.

In Garry’s latest fight, he and UFC vet Neil Magny launched personal attacks at each other before the match. The talk would continue throughout their match and after.

Throughout the entire bout, Garry would be on the offense, making remarks to Magny. Even after clearly winning the fight, Ian was still hurling insults.

Currently, Ian Garry is 13-0 and looking to crack the top 10 welterweight ranks. Many experts are picking Garry as the next Irish UFC champion.

4. Cathal Pendred

Cathal Pendred 2013 MMA Highlights | @BloodstreamMMA

Weight Class Welterweight/Middleweight
Record (W/L) 17-4
Height/Weight 6’1 / 170 lbs
Years Active 2009-2015

Retired MMA veteran fighter Cathal Pindred has the honor of being the first Irish MMA fighter to win inside the octagon. Pendred had a funny upbringing, being born in Boston, Massachusetts, and living there until he was four.

That was when his Irish-born family moved back to Ireland. During his teen years, Pendred played rugby and became interested in MMA after the sport became popular in the 2000s.

Pendred started training at SBG: Ireland, where many other Irish fighters started training. In early 2009, Cathal would start his career as a pro-MMA fighter.

Cathal began his MMA career competing predominantly within Ireland and the UK. In his first two years as a pro, Pendred earned a 9-2 record before fighting in the Cage Warriors promotion.

His Cage Warriors debut would be disappointing as it was declared a majority draw. However, the Irish fighter bounced back to win his next five bouts and earn the Cage Warriors welterweight title.

This streak of wins led to Cathal getting the call to compete in the UFC. Pendred made his UFC debut on the fight night in Dublin, headlined by McGregor vs. Brandao.

That night, Pendred and teammate Holohan would become the 2nd and 3rd Irish UFC fighters to win inside the octagon. Pendred earned the only stoppage win of his UFC run in his debut.

Pendred would stay busy and continue fighting for the next few years. He won his first four UFC fights and was in discussion for becoming the next Irish champion.

His eight-fight win streak was snapped at UFC 189 with a controversial split-decision loss against John Howard.

Three months later, Pendred would compete in his last UFC bout in a losing effort against Tom Breese in Dublin. After the fight, Pendred announced his retirement from MMA.

In his post-retirement life, Pendred has stayed busy in numerous endeavors. He has an ongoing acting career, working on many TV shows and films.

Cathal is also a new college graduate after earning a Master’s degree in Climate Change from Dublin City University.

The retired fighter has accomplished many things, but he’ll always be remembered for his massive impact on the sport.

5. Joseph Duffy

Joseph Duffy 2015 MMA Highlights | @BloodstreamMMA

Weight Class Lightweight
Record (W/L) 16-5
Height/Weight 5’10 / 155 lbs
Years Active 2008-2021

Joseph Duffy is one of the most active fighters. The Irish lightweight debuted in the UFC in 2015 and has continued fighting within the promotion for 5 years.

Duffy grew up going back and forth between Dungleton, Ireland, and Wales. During this time, he loved playing rugby but practiced martial arts from an early age.

He started learning Taekwondo before learning Japanese Jujutsu. This early martial arts training gave Duffy a passion for competing, leading him to become a fighter.

But before getting into MMA, Joe took up boxing training. The young fighter never wanted to box but couldn’t pass up learning from a famed coach who trained top pros.

After training with pro boxers, Duffy finally transitioned to MMA training. Duffy became a pro-MMA fighter in 2008, fighting around the UK and Ireland before entering the UFC.

Duffy won his first six bouts, with six finished in the first round. That led to Joe debuting in Cage Warriors against young and cocky Conor McGregor.

Joe famously gave Conor his first-second UFC loss right before he went on his streak. One thing that Duffy does have over Conor is a more successful pro boxing career.

After beating McGregor in MMA, Duffy would return to pro boxing. In 2013, Duffy competed in 7 pro boxing bouts and won them all, retiring with a 7-0 record.

Duffy returned to MMA after a three-year absence from the sport after retiring from boxing. UK/Irish MMA fans wondered when they would see Joe Duffy enter the UFC.

Joe would return to MMA and win two fights that boosted his record to 12-1. The Irish lightweight made his long-awaited UFC 185 against Jake Lindsey.

Duffy made an emphatic statement by finishing Lindsey with punches and kicks in the first round. He followed his debut win up with a submission win in his second UFC bout at a UFC FN event.

In his third UFC bout, Joe lost a tough decision to future lightweight champion Dustin Poirier before winning two more fights. Unfortunately, the end of Duffy’s fight career was filled with disappointments.

The Irish lightweight suffered three straight losses in a three-year span plagued by injury. Since Joe realized he would never compete for a title, he retired in 2020.

He finished his MMA career as one of the most successful Irish UFC fighters with a 16-5 record.

6. Norman Parke


Weight Class Lightweight/Welterweight
Record (W/L) 31-7
Height/Weight 5’11 / 156 lbs
Years Active 2006-present

“Stormin” Norman Parke is an Irish lightweight who had a short run in the UFC during his fighting career. The Northern Ireland native started learning Judo at sixteen and later added freestyle wrestling to his training.

He would become the National champion of Northern Ireland in Judo and wrestling in back-to-back years. After years of grappling, Parke added boxing to his training after 2012.

Parke began competing in MMA before becoming a national Irish Judo and wrestling champion. His pro debut took place in 2006, which he lost by submission.

That first loss would be a speed bump as Parke became one of Ireland’s hottest MMA prospects. Norman improved his record to an impressive 10-1 in the next four years.

His second pro loss came against another one of the top fighters, Joseph Duffy. After the loss, Parke bounced back to improve his record to 16-2 before getting the invite from the UFC.

In his UFC debut, “Stormin Norman” won his UFC debut against Colin Fletcher at a UFC on FX event in 2012. Parke’s debut would be a successful decision win. Making him the first Irish UFC fighter to win a match.

Norman followed this win by winning another decision against Jon Tuck before a majority draw against Leonardo Santos.

Stormin was among the many Irish fighters to compete on the undercard of McGregor vs. Brandao in Dublin. He won his match against Naoyuki Kotan by TKO.

Parke lost to razor-thin split decisions against contenders Gleison Tibau and Francisco Trinaldo. He then went 1-1 in his last two UFC fights before being released in 2016.

Since then, Stormin Norman has continued his fighting career in Europe. Fighting in every promotion from BAMMA, KSW, and BRAVE.

At 46, Parke is still an active fighter with an impressive 31-7.

7. Aisling Daly

UFC Dublin - Aisling Daly walk out song - The Cranberries - Zombie

Weight Class Strawweight/Flyweight
Record (W/L) 16-6
Height/Weight 5’3 / 115 lbs
Years Active 2007-2015

Aislan Daly had the honor of being the first female Irish UFC fighter in the promotion’s history. She was among the first female fighters to leave Ireland in the late 2000s.

Like most of the fighters on our top Irish UFC list, Daly started training at SBG: Ireland. During this time in history, women’s MMA was still in its infancy.

Aisling began her pro-fighting career in 2007 at the age of nineteen. She quickly established herself as one of the top female fighters in Europe.

Over the next two years, Daly would improve her record to 9-0 with 8 wins by TKO or submission. Daly took her first loss in 2010 against Lisa Ellis at Bellator 26 and continued fighting for different promotions.

She fought everywhere from Cage Warriors Bellator and made her US debut in 2011. Beating future UFC vet Jessica Eye by RNC at an MMA event in Cleveland, Ohio, to improve her record to 11-2.

Daly continued her fighting career through 2013 before earning a spot on The Ultimate Fighter. The Irish fighter would lose in the tournament but was invited to debut at the TUF finale.

Aisling made history by becoming the first female Irish fighter to win a UFC fight. Submitting opponent Alex Chambers by first-round armbar.

Her UFC run would last two more fights against Randi Markos and Ericka Almeida. Markos won a decision over the Irish fighter at UFC 186 before her last UFC fight in Dublin.

Daly made her final walk to the UFC cage in 2015 on the main card of a fight night in Ireland. As Aisling walked out in front of her hometown crowd, the fans serenaded her with her walkout song. Shouting Zombie by The Cranberries for the duration of the song.

She ended her career in front of her hometown on a high note with a decision win over Almeida. A year after retiring from MMA, Daly revealed she stopped fighting due to an undiagnosed brain hemorrhage.

Despite getting her career cut short, Aisling still made history. She was the first Irish female fighter in UFC history and will always be remembered as a very skilled fighter.

8. Neil Seery

UFC Breakdown: Training Camp - Neil Seery

Weight Class Flyweight
Record (W/L) 16-13
Height/Weight 5’4 / 125 lbs
Years Active 2005-2017

Neil Seery is an Irish flyweight who fought professionally from 2005 to 2017. Seery began training in the early 2000s and made his pro debut in 2005.

He had a hard beginning to his MMA career as he dropped four of his first five pro-MMA bouts. The Irish flyweight would bounce back and improve his record to 8-8 over the next few years.

During his early years as a pro, the UFC had not added a men’s flyweight division. This led Seery to spend eight years of career fighting in the UK and Ireland.

Despite a 12-9 record, Seery won the CWFC flyweight title before getting invited into the UFC. At the UFC Fight Night event in London against UFC vet and English fighter Brad Pickett.

Pickett used his experience to win a decision, but Seery bounced back in his 2nd UFC bout. He beat Phil Harris in his second bout and won again in his third bout against Chris Beal.

Seery dropped his next bout to Louis Smolka but earned a POTN bonus in a win against Jon Delos Reyes. After losing his next two fights, Neil would retire from MMA after a twelve-year career.

9. Charles Ward

Full Fight | Charlie Ward vs. Justin Moore - Bellator 223

Weight Class Welterweight/Middleweight
Record (W/L) 10-6
Height/Weight 5’11 / 186 lbs
Years Active 2014-present

Charles Ward is one of the Irish UFC fighters who found success after his UFC run. The middleweight fighter started training in his early 30s and began competing in 2014.

In his pro debut, Ward lost by first-round TKO, but won his next three fights to improve his record to 3-1. With just four pro fights, Ward would quickly get into the UFC.

The main reason Ward entered into the UFC so quickly was because the fight night event was held in Belfast. Ward didn’t really have the experience to be in the UFC and was set up to fight contender Abdul Razak Alhassan.

Razak would make quick work against the overmatched Irishman by finishing him by KO in the first round. A year later, in 2017, Charles got another chance to fight on another fight night in Scotland.

This fight was against another more experienced fighter in Galore Bofando. In the bout, Bofando finished the fight with a slam followed by strikes in the first round.

Two losses into the UFC, Ward would get his release from the promotion. However, this would not be the end of his fighting career.

Ward began improving his skills and was signed to fight in Bellator MMA. At 4-3, Charles would save his fighting career in his current run in Bellator.

Charles made his Bellator debut in 2017 and continues to fight within the promotion. Ward snapped his losing streak with a first-round KO win in his Bellator debut in Dublin.

That impressive win made him one of Bellator’s go-to fighters for European events. He continued climbing his way up the Bellator ranks with another TKO win.

Charles would earn two more impressive TKO wins in his next two bouts against James Stephenson and Justin Moore. He boosted his record to 7-3, but dropped a decision loss in his fifth bout in Bellator.

Despite the loss, Ward would rack up three more wins to continue working up the ranks. The wins earned Ward a big test to face top Bellator contender Fabian Edwards at Bellator 287.

The brother of UFC champion Leon Edwards would control the game Edwards in their bot. Beating the Irishman in all three rounds to win a decision.

In his most recent bout at Bellator 291 in Dublin, Ward dropped another decision to Mike Shipman. At 42, Charles is still signed with Bellator and plans to continue fighting.

10. Rhys McKee

Alex Morono vs Rhys McKee full fight highlight

Weight Class Welterweight/Middleweight
Record (W/L) 13-6-1
Height/Weight 6’2 171 lbs
Years Active 2020-present

Rhys McKee is a young Irish welterweight with an interesting career. (so far) McKee began his career as a pro fighter in 2015 and predominantly fights in the BAMMA promotion.

In his first year, Rhys was undefeated at 5-0, with all of his wins being finishes. His fifth fight was a title win, the BAMMA welterweight title, before losing it to Tim Barnett.

Skeletor would earn a 10-2-1 record before making his UFC debut in 2020. The debut was, unfortunately, against Khazmat Chimaev, which was a devastating knockout loss.

He would follow this loss with another decision loss to Alex Morono. It was a war against Morono, but McKee would be given his release.

The young welterweight returned to Cage Warriors, where Rhys earned 3 KO wins. This streak got McKee back into the UFC, where he lost again to Ange Loosa.

Skeletor is still young and still has years more years left in his career.

11. Paul Redmond

Full Fight | Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Paul Redmond | Bellator 240

Weight Class Lightweight
Record (W/L) 15-9
Height/Weight 5’10 / 155 lbs
Years Active 2009-2020

Paul “Redser” Redmond is a full-blooded Irish fighter with a 15-9 pro record. Redster started his pro-fighting career in 2010, which was a disappointing submission loss.

Redmond ground during his first four years as a pro fighter, earning a 10-4 record. He made his UFC debut in 2015 during that influx of Irish MMA fighters and events in Ireland.

The Irish lightweight would have to fight in the UFC, which were both losses. Paul moved on to fighting in BAMMA before going back and forth fighting in KSW and Bellator.

His last match was back in 2020 against George Karakhanyan in front of a sold-out career. Redmond also runs his own BJJ school called Team Ryano BJJ.

12. Tom Egan

Tom Egan Exclusive UFC 93

Weight Class Middleweight
Record (W/L) 7-5
Height/Weight 5’11 / 181 lbs
Years Active 2007-2014

I already mentioned Tom “The Tank” Egan, but he’s worth mentioning again on this list. Tom was the second UFC fighter in history to enter the octagon.

He fought at the UFC 93 event in Belfast in 2009. Two years after Stevie Lynch first debuted in the UFC.

Egan came into the UFC with a 4-0 record on one of the first UFC events in Ireland. Unfortunately for Egan, he ran into John Hathaway who finished him with strikes in the first round.

He would never compete in the UFC again and spend the rest of his career fighting within the UK and Ireland. After his UFC loss, Egan traded losses and wins for the next five years before retiring in 2014 at 7-5.

Will Tom had an okay career, He inspired many young Irish MMA fighters to start training.

The future champ’s journey would’ve been different if Tom hadn’t convinced Conor McGregor to train with him.

Who Were the First Irish Fighters to Fight in the UFC?

The first Irish UFC fighters to compete in the promotion were Stevie Lynch and Tom Egan. Stevie Lynch was honored to be the first Irish UFC fighter in the promotion’s history.

“The Smiling Assassin” made his UFC debut at UFC 73, which was the first UFC event in Ireland. Lynch faced UFC vet Dustin Hazelett in a preliminary bout.

Unfortunately for Lynch, Hazelett had the superior grappling and quickly took the Irishman to the mat. Locking in an anaconda choke at 2:50 of the first round anaconda choke. The first Irish UFC fighter was one-and-done in his debut and retired with a record of 5-2.

Tom Egan was the second Irish UFC fighter in history, who debuted at UFC 93 in Belfast, Ireland. He met English fighter and future UFC vet John Hathaway in his promotional debut.

Once again, the UFC would lose in the first round as Hathaway finished Egan with elbows. The SBG fighter, Egan, would retire with a 7-5 record.

Wrap Up:

That does it for this article. Let us know if there are any great Irish UFC fighters that we missed in the comments section below.

Leave a Comment