Joe Duffy is the latest Irish fighter to join the UFC roster. | Photo: Spike TV
Recently signed Irish prospect Joe Duffy will make his Octagon debut against Vagner Rocha at UFC 185 “Pettis vs. Dos Anjos.”
The 155-pound matchup was announced Monday by UFC officials. Headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Anthony Pettis and top contender Rafael dos Anjos, UFC 185 takes place March 14 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Duffy, 26, is best known as the last man to defeat current UFC featherweight star Conor McGregor. The countrymen met in November 2010 at a Cage Warriors Fighting Championship event in Cork, where Duffy submitted “The Notorious” with an arm-triangle choke in just 38 seconds. Less than one year after that bout, Duffy left the cage to pursue a professional boxing career, but “Irish Joe” returned from a 34-month hiatus last August and has since earned stoppages of Damien Lapilus and Julien Boussuge.
Rocha, 32, is currently in his second UFC stint. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt went 1-2 in his first run but then racked up four straight wins outside the Octagon to earn another shot in the UFC. Rocha returned in November and was put to sleep by a rear-naked choke from Australian Jake Matthews at UFC Fight Night “Rockhold vs. Bisping.”