It turns out that every season is injury season for the UFC. We're less than two weeks into the new year, and cards are already getting picked apart by the injury bug. But, with injuries comes new talent and a chance for fresh faces to shine on the world's biggest stage in MMA. This time the injury bug has hit Iraqi-born German fighter Alan Omer. Omer was scheduled to fight Mirsad Bektic when the UFC came to Sweden on January 24th. Omer's manager, Tim Leidecker spoke to Bloody Elbow about the injury to his fighter, saying "We are all very depressed right now. Alan went trough tough 3 month of preparation, all for nothing. This sucks." In Omer's place, UFC officals announced, comes a new signing, Irish lightweight Paul Redmond. Redmond will be dropping to featherweight for his UFC debut. So...
Who is Paul Redmond?
"Redser" Redmond is a 28-year old fighter coming to Zuffa from Cage Warriors FC. He fights out of Team Ryano MMA, where he trains alongside Neil Seery. Redmond will be making his way to the UFC on the back of a 10-4 record. Currently, he's on a two fight win streak, going undefeated in 2014, since dropping a New Year's Eve bout, a year ago, to Mateusz Teodorczuk at CWFC 63. Otherwise, Redmond's record is pretty decent considering his consistent level of competition. Other than a debut loss to Richard McLarty, all of his losses are to strong prospects on the rise. And he has wins over Philip Mulpeter, Ryan Roddy, and Alexis Savvidis among a slew of regional vets. Redmond will certainly be coming to the UFC well tested on the regional circuit. Outside of his MMA career, he's also a night club DJ.
What you should expect:
Redmond has a developing boxing game that seems predicated on his ability to move forward and pressure his opponent. He has good strong punching fundamentals, although he does tend to overreach his feet a lot, which is why forward pressure is so important to his striking; his body tends to carry him forward as he strikes. In the clinch he's got a very strong, if somewhat simple wrestling game, and is very adept at snagging kicks for the takedown. From top position, Redmond has a very heavy base, and is adept at working position for submission opportunities without putting himself in danger, or letting opponents off the hook. Interestingly, Redmond has 3 wins by toe-hold in his career, so it's definitely something to look for if he gets into a 50/50 guard, or a prolonged scramble.
What this means for his debut:
Redmond has an interesting opponent in front of him in Bektic. Bektic is almost certainly the more technical wrestler, but he's not a dynamically better striker, and given Redmond's strong grappling game, he may not be comfortable spending extended time working against him on the ground. Neither man is the world's most adept striker, and while Bektic is the more technical of the two, Redmond may be the more fluid combination striker right now. Still, it's hard to pick against the Bosnian-American here. His wrestling ability and top flight athletic tools (as well as his power) make him the obvious choice for a betting favorite. But, I wouldn't be shocked if Redmond was able to find the opportunity for an upset submission win.
To get us better acquainted, here's Redmond's last fight against Alexis Savvidis at CWFC 70: