After he signed a new seven-fight deal with the UFC last summer, Donegal lightweight Joseph Duffy told Ariel Helwani that he was really hoping to increase his activity levels.
“I’m just looking forward to getting busy now,” Duffy said on a July episode of Helwani’s weekly show, The MMA Hour. “For the last while, I’ve just been really honing my skills. I took a bit of time to make sure that I’ve been getting up to speed, but now it’s time to get to work.”
“That’s one of the reasons I signed the seven-fight deal. If I signed for the seven fights I can get a little bit more active. I want to get at least three fights a year and just blast into it.”
“I’m up there now, I’m 29, I’m at the age where I need to start making my mark.”
Things haven’t really gone according to plan for Duffy, who turns 30 in a couple of weeks time, since, however. Though he was aiming to get back into the octagon by August or early September, ‘Irish Joe’ didn’t fight until November. Worse still, that bout ended in the first KO/TKO defeat of his career at the hands of the talented and on form James Vick.
Duffy has been pretty quiet since the loss, the second of his six-fight run in the world’s premier MMA promotion, but on Wednesday, he revealed in an interview with Severe MMA’s Niall McGrath that an issue with his shoulder may further hamper his plans to compete with a greater frequency.
“I haven’t been training a whole pile,” Duffy told McGrath on Severe MMA’s Talking Brawls podcast. “My shoulder has been giving me trouble. I’m getting that looked at.”
“I had an MRI there last Wednesday, so I’m just waiting now for the results and I’ll go from there. From what I’ve heard, it sounds like a suspected torn labrum.”
In response to a comment from a fan on a recent Instagram post, Duffy added that he may well have to go under the knife to repair the problem.
“I just got my shoulder checked, it’s looking like I’ll need surgery,” wrote the fighter when asked about his 2018 schedule. “Will know more Tuesday.”
If Duffy does indeed require surgery, he is likely to be out for several months. In November of 2012, Chris Weidman underwent surgery to repair his shoulder after suffering the same injury. He didn’t return to the octagon until the following July when he caused a seismic upset to rip the UFC middleweight title from Anderson Silva. Then UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez didn’t fight for about seven months after he had his labrum surgically repaired in late 2013. UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson also had surgery in March of 2013 after tearing his labrum in training but ‘Mighty Mouse’ returned to the octagon just three months later. UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley recently underwent surgery to repair a partial labrum tear he suffered in his win over Demian Maia last July.
Joseph Duffy debuted for the UFC in March of 2015, quickly finishing Jake Lindsay with strikes in ultra-impressive fashion. He followed that up by becoming the first man to ever submit Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Ivan Jorge in MMA. However, he suffered a setback in January of 2016, losing a decision to Dustin Poirier in a bloody and absorbing, and bloody absorbing, battle at UFC 195. He bounced back with two more wins, over Mitch Clarke and Reza Madadi, before Vick halted his momentum in November.