Joseph Duffy and Dustin Poirier won’t be squaring off in Dublin. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Joseph Duffy suffered a mild concussion during training and has been forced to withdraw from his UFC Fight Night Dublin headliner against Dustin Poirier, promotion officials announced Wednesday.
"Having learned that Duffy received a strike to the head during training earlier this week, UFC sent him for medical tests in Ireland for precautionary purposes. The results determined that Duffy suffered a mild concussion and due to the proximity of the fight this Saturday, UFC will not permit him to compete,” the statement read. “The health and safety of UFC athletes will continue to be the top priority for the organization. As such, UFC has respected standard athletic commission regulations, which recommend a medical suspension from competition as a result of the concussion.”
As a result of the injury, a flyweight clash between Patrick Holohan and Louis Smolka has been promoted to the main event. UFC Fight Night takes place at the 3Arena and airs in its entirety on Fight Pass beginning at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. Holohan vs. Smolka will be a three-round headliner.
According to the statement, Poirier “will be rescheduled for another event.” Meanwhile, fans who purchased tickets can receive refunds via Ticketmaster at the point of purchase.
“Obviously I’m absolutely gutted; I really wanted that fight and felt sharp in training,” Duffy said on Instagram. “Firstly, a huge apology to Dustin. We have both put in an incredible amount of work to get ready for the fight; he’s a great fighter and I hope I get another chance to face him.
“Sorry to all my fans, friends and family who were planning to come and see me fight and who supported me all the way. Although it’s hard to think about anything other than the disappointment right now, I can’t wait to get another fight booked in and hope to be in the Octagon as soon as possible.”
Duffy’s exit marks the second significant loss for Saturday’s event. Last week, Stipe Miocic pulled out of his co-headlining showdown against Ben Rothwell due to injury. The UFC was unable to find a replacement opponent for Rothwell on short notice.