Irish MMA fighter Paddy Holohan has announced his immediate retirement from UFC, aged just 27.
A statement released by the UFC said his retirement was as a result of “a rare blood clotting disorder that prevents him from competing in professional mixed martial arts”.
“I was born with a factor missing in my blood called Factor XIII,” Holohan said in the statement. “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.”
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Holohan had competed in the UFC five times, most recently headlining an event in Dublin in October 2015.
The Dubliner thanked his coach and his fans for their support over the years, admitting that he would miss many aspects of the
“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,” he said.
“Thanks to all of my team over the past nine years at SBG. 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.”
😔 I lose a great fighter but gain an amazing coach, time for the next chapter https://t.co/wNh2fZ0G5v— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) April 25, 2016
Kavanagh acknowledged Holohan’s retirement on Twitter, saying: “I lose a great fighter but gain an amazing coach, time for the next chapter.”
Fans and MMA insiders also paid tribute to the well-liked Dubliner.
Paddy is one of the best people I've met in life, period. An amazing man. Honored to have covered him. Raise a cup of tea for ya, Paddy!— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 25, 2016
.@PaddyHolohanMMA was the main event of the first Irish show I saw. A great ambassador for Ireland and a great person. Enjoy retirement bud.— Peter Carroll (@PetesyCarroll) April 25, 2016