On Friday night in Belfast we will witness arguably the biggest domestic fight ever for Irish MMA. There was once a time where we could only hope for Irish fighters to make an impact in the UFC. But with Parke vs. Redmond we have two fighters who have been there and have their place in history as part of the crop who truly broke down the walls for Irish fighters in the world's largest MMA promotion.
Both fighters are one fight removed from their respective UFC runs and both fighters won their first fights outside the promotion. Redmond defeated Irish MMA veteran Chris Stringer via unanimous decision at BAMMA 26 while Parke scored a unanimous decision win over Andrew Fisher at ACB 47, both hard fought fights.
As Paul Redmond stated at the pre-fight press conference, the winner of this fight will move onto bigger things while the loser stays stagnant. Every fight is an important one for a fighter, however this one has bigger consequences either way for both competitors.
- Norman Parke (22-5-1) vs. Paul Redmond (11-6)
- Redmond's UFC record: 0-2, Parke's UFC record 5-2-1
- Parke made his debut in 2006 while Redmond turned pro in 2010
- Parke has a 73% finishing rate but has only stopped 2 fights in his past 8 wins
- In his previous ten fights Parke has registered over 147 minutes of cage time
- Redmond has a 81% finishing rate and three toe hold submissions on his record
- The last time Parke was stopped was against Joe Duffy back in 2010, over 15 fights ago
Both guys have a reputation of being incredibly durable. Knowing their fighting styles I believe this fight will be a chess match destined to go the distance.
Over the past four years Parke has fought tougher opposition than Redmond and has yielded better results than his Dublin counterpart so it is hard not to side with him in this one.
Parke via razor thin unanimous decision, possibly a split decision.