Joseph Duffy believes that he can defeat Conor McGregor if the pair were to have a rematch.
Duffy beat McGregor via submission in the first round at Cage Warriors 39 in November 2010, but the Irishman will have to wait to get his hands on his compatriot again as McGregor will face reigning UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in Las Vegas on December 12.
Duffy meanwhile will face Dustin Poirier at UFC 195 on January 2, but doesn’t see any reason why he and McGregor cannot face each other again in the future. Should a rematch occur, Duffy has no doubts that the bout will end in the same way the first one did.
“I would address the fight the same way I would any other: I would go in expecting the five rounds and I believe I can finish anyone,” Duffy told MMAjunkie. “I’m always looking for them opportunities, and the fight with Conor would be no different. I would be in there, and I would be looking for that finish.
“There’s nobody I fight that I feel I can’t beat in any area. I’m one of them people – I feel I’m an opportunist. I don’t go in there planning to do one thing specifically. I just go in and let the fight unfold and react and take what opportunities are given to me.”
In the five years that have passed since Duffy and McGregor last squared off, Duffy stepped away from MMA for almost three years to try his hand at professional boxing before making his comeback in August 2014. He has since gone on to win four fights in a row.
However, while Duffy believes that the time he spent away from MMA helped develop him into a more all-round fighter, he admitted that he has been impressed with McGregor’s rise both in the Octagon and outside of it.
“I spent a few years in pro boxing, so I’m very comfortable there; whereas before I wasn’t as confident in my standup game,” he said. “Now I feel I can stand against anybody. My ground game, my wrestling I always trusted anyway. That was never an area I doubted. So I suppose I kind of feel like I’m more dangerous everywhere and I’m the complete package.
“Conor’s grown. He’s grown in confidence, and obviously his stature has grown as well. I think he’s learned a lot over the years. His ground game has improved, his striking has improved, and he’s improved everywhere. He’s obviously a different fighter five years on.”