Joe Duffy suffered the first knockout defeat of his career as James Vick KO’d the Burtonport man in the final second of the second round in their lightweight at UFC 217 in Madison Square Garden.
Just as the buzzer was about to sound at the end of round 2, referee Todd Anderson stepped in to declare Vick the winner.
The stoppage was timed at 4:59 – just a second from the end of the round.
Vick dropped Duffy to the floor with a massive right uppercut.
Vick, whose 6’3” frame caused Duffy plenty of trouble, seized the moment and unleashed GnP on Duffy before Anderson called a halt.
Duffy, who entered the arena to a chorus of Óró, sé do bheatha bhaile was backed by a vociferous Irish crowd in the iconic Manhattan venue, but the Donegal fighter couldn’t find his stride.
Duffy did have marginally the better of the opening round, but Vick always seemed dangerous at distance.
Vick came out with strong pressure early in the second round and looked assured to Duffy’s cagey demeanour.
The end of the second stanza was in sight when Vick pounced for his big moment.
“This is a dream come true,” Vick, who now seems set to enter the top 15 rankings and surely a crack at some of the big guns, said.
The American added of Duffy: “That is a serious dude. He could beat these guys in the top 15, but they don’t want to fight him, just like they don’t want to fight me.”
Duffy came into the bout after back-to-back wins over Mitch Clarke and Reza Madadi. Last July, Duffy took only 25 seconds to defeat Clarke and he scored a decision win over Madadi in March of this year.
Duffy appeared set to leave the UFC after defeating Madadi at The O2 Arena in London having failed to agree satisfactory terms.
The impasse ended in July when the Donegal native penned a new seven-fight contract, but his record now drops to 17-3, 4-2 UFC.
The bout was the main preliminary fight on the undercard of Duffy’s Tristar stablemate Georges St-Pierre’s crack at becoming a two-weight world champion with a clash against middleweight kingpin Michael Bisping.
30-year-old Vick came into this with similar hopes to Duffy.
Both were on the periphery of the top 15 in the stacked lightweight division. Earlier this year, ’The Texecutioner’ recorded wins over Abel Trujillo and Marco Polo Reyes having been KO’d by Beneil Dariush last June.
Vick’s record increases to 12-1, 8-1 UFC and, for him, the only way is up.Tags: