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Paddy Holohan devastated by early retirement: It feels like 'death'

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Irish fan favorite, Paddy Holohan, says he feels like a part of him has died since being forced to retire due to a rare medical condition.

On Monday, it was announced that Paddy Holohan had been forced to call it a career due to a rare health disorder. Holohan, who has trained under the tutelage of SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh since he was 19-years-old, lost his last fight to Louis Smolka but won the hearts of many fans.

Unfortunately for Holohan, it was the last time he'd ever get the chance to perform in front of his loyal Irish supporters. 'The Hooligan' has suffered from Factor XIII, a blood clotting disorder, since he was 8-years-old, but the information was never disclosed to the UFC.

"When I was 8 years of age, I was diagnosed with it," Holohan said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour (h/t Luke Thomas of MMA Fighting). "It's an extremely rare kind of thing," Holohan said on Monday's The MMA Hour. "It's called Factor XIII deficiency," he explained. "So, say you get cut and when the cut is healing, the clot doesn't form properly.

"One in 5 million people get it, so it's really rare."

It was during his treatment for a back injury that doctors discovered Factor XIII from his blood tests. Once doctors in the U.S. were notified, the UFC broke the news that he could no longer obtain a fighters license to compete at a professional level.

"This was just a normal thing to me," Holohan said. "The UFC informed me I wouldn't be able to get passed for a fight license, so what else do you do when you can't get a fight license? I had to retire. I'm grateful for what I got to do in the sport. I got to raise a lot of superstars that came up from the Irish circuit. I got to do an apprenticeship over a really good point in MMA in Ireland."

Holohan says the news has been devastating, and admits that hanging up the gloves for good felt like 'a death burial'.

"It doesn't feel real. It feels like a death burial," he explained. "That's what it feels like. It feels like a death. Even the whole last week when I was in Iceland, it was so relaxing and so nice. I was still training in Iceland, keeping my head nice and clear. That's what I will continue to do. It just feels like my hands are tied now with, I didn't know the situation with this was as serious as it is."

The proud Irishman went beyond his physical limitations and made it into the UFC, stringing three wins together in the promotion and retiring with a respectable record of 12-2.