Louis Smolka entered hostile territory in Dublin on Saturday and emerged with a victory, taking the air out of the raucous crowd with a second round submission over Paddy Holohan.
That bout served as the UFC Fight Night 76 main event after Joseph Duffy was forced out of the event with a concussion earlier in the week, and the two put on a highly entertaining back and forth fight to take advantage of the spot. Holohan was the early aggressor, working well on the ground and attacking for submissions, but Smolka’s defense was too great, and he managed to get in some late round striking offense after getting back to his feet.
Holohan again got some ground offense in during the second frame, but Holohan escaped again, and started to wear the Irishman down. He eventually got the tired “Hooligan” to the ground, mounted him, beat him up with strikes, and locked on the choke when Holohan gave up his back. It was an excellent performance from the Hawaiian, and his second straight win over an Irish flyweight contender.
In other action on the card, undefeated welterweights Nicolas Dalby and Darren Till put on a stellar fight, and both left with their undefeated records intact. Till had a strong ten minutes to start, beating Dalby to the punch with combination after combination, and nearly finished things at the end of the first round with a slick uppercut knock down. He injured his shoulder at some point in the second frame, but opted to continue on, and though he may have been slightly hampered, it doesn’t take away from a strong final round by Dalby. Clearly down two rounds to none, Dalby was in desperation mode to do as much damage as possible in the third, and he accomplished that goal. Two judges wound up giving him a 10-8 round in the third frame to make the fight a draw, and though the dissenting judge had it in Till’s favor, the majority draw was the end result.
The main card was rounded out by Neil Seery’s first UFC finish, a second round submission over Jon Delos Reyes, and a decision win for Northern Ireland’s Norman Parke against Reza Madadi.