UFC lightweight Joseph Duffy could be on the verge of testing free agency once he fulfills the final bout on his contract with the Las Vegas-based promotion.
The Tristar Gym product has one fight remaining on his current deal. Duffy, a native of Donegal, Ireland, told The42 that he was offered a bout at the upcoming UFC Fight Night event in Belfast on Nov. 19, but the matchup wasn’t to his liking.
“Of course I’d be very disappointed to miss the Belfast card but I just feel that the fight I was offered didn’t make sense,” Duffy said. “There was no real upside to the fight for me. With it being the last fight on my contract, I feel there’s no benefit for me in taking it.
“This is the fight game and at this level every fight I take has to mean something to me in more ways than one. I’m training hard and I feel great,” he continued. “I’ve never been more focused than I am right now so I guess it’s just a matter of waiting for the right fight for me. I want names that mean something and I’m ready to start my training camp as soon as that happens. If it’s Belfast then it’s Belfast, if not then so be it.”
Duffy’s claim to fame upon entering the UFC was a victory over reigning featherweight king Conor McGregor at Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 39 in November 2010. “Irish Joe” has since made his own name in the Octagon by winning three of his first four bouts while finishing each of his triumphs inside of a round. His lone defeat came against 155-pound contender Dustin Poirier.
Duffy told The42 that he has already been offered a new contract by the UFC but the financial terms of the deal left something to be desired. Duffy earned a disclosed $40,000 payday -- including a $20,000 win bonus -- for his most recent appearance, a 25-second rear-naked choke victory over Mitch Clark at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on July 7.
“No, I’m not close at all [to signing a new deal]. I have been offered a new contract to sign but I don’t feel like I’m valued,” Duffy said. “The negotiation seems to be a case of take it or leave it. I’m not asking for a massive increase, just what I believe I’m worth as a professional mixed martial artist. It’s definitely looking like I will be testing free agency, but not by choice.”