MIXED MARTIAL ARTS : McGregor backs ‘Hooligan’

by Aaron Dunne
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DUBLIN MMA legend Paddy ‘The Hooligan’ Holohan will lead Team Ireland against the old enemy England as part of a new reality TV show which made its debut on Channel 4 this week.

European MMA promotion the ‘OKTAGON Challenge’ will test eight athletes to the limit as they fight their way through a tournament bracket.

The Irish prospects will be led by IHolohan, with Next Gen fighter and OKTAGON lightweight contender, Shem Rock as the co-coach.

England will be led by MMA pioneer and UFC veteran, Brad Pickett, co-coached by fellow lightweight prospect, Akonne Wanliss.

Speaking about the competition, Holohan (below) commented: “OKTAGON is a great set up. I can tell by the founders, Pavol and Ondrej, that it’s going to be a success. What they’ve created for the younger generation here is very special. The Irish scene now is buzzing, with Conor (McGregor), Ian Garry, Shanuagh Bannan… and these fighters here can join those guys as leading the new charge.

“You can see in the English team that it’s divided, my team is talking, having fun, and that is more important. A lot of battles in history have been won by the lesser team who were up for the fight.

“I was chatting to Conor about this, and he was amazed that someone in Europe had picked up this kind of show, like The Ultimate Fighter. He’s happy for it, and thinks it’s a brilliant idea. He’s really supportive of it, and he’d be all over this.”

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