While Conor McGregor's claims of early retirement last week may have turned out to be little more than a threat to the UFC, one of his teammates has been forced to quit Mixed Martial Arts today in unfortunate circumstances.
As revealed on the UFC's official website, Dublin fighter Patrick "Paddy" Holohan has announced his retirement from competing in the organization after they became aware of a rare blood clotting disorder he suffers from.
Holohan, who like McGregor is 27-years-old and from Dublin, has five UFC fights to his name in the octagon and was on the match card for the UFC Fight Night 87 on May 8.
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“I was born with a factor missing in my blood called Factor XIII,” Holohan explained on Monday, via UFC.com. “I never disclosed it then or now. I can no longer pass the medical requirements to compete.”
“I knew that it was so rare that organizations wouldn't understand or take the chance with me, as I have found out now.
“I never explained in full to my coach John Kavanagh or my team the actual risks because I didn't think there was excess risk.”
The now former flyweight fighter had been training alongside McGregor in Iceland this week and had been fairly active on social media about his future plans. As such, his retirement today comes out of the blue.
It is, though, a precautionary measure. Only affecting one in a million to one in five million people, a Factor XIII deficiency means a risk of excessive bleeding. In the world of UFC, that is a real danger.
“I’m happy because I always wore my heart on my sleeve, never cheated, never turned away from diversity or challenges, and always strived to inspire and encourage people from all backgrounds,” Holohan said when reflecting on the end of a career that now ends on a defeat to Louis Smolka.
“And I’m sad because I will never make that walk again, under those lights, feeling all those uncomfortable, yet life-giving feelings as they count and you hear ‘Walk, walk, walk,’ staring into a camera, knowing millions are watching, but most importantly the Irish are watching.
“Thanks to all of my team over the past nine years at SBG,” he added. “My coach John who backed me regardless when I had nothing but effort to offer him in payment, it’s been an incredible journey for this council kid!
“To all the Irish people and people of my hometown of Tallaght who have always caught my falls and helped me back to my feet, I am forever grateful to the people who have backed me through thick and thin. This has made me the man I am today.”