Young Irish MMA fighter, Paul Hughes has had a frustrating time of it since making his debut at the age of 19 in 2017.
The Lavey, County Derry fighter has only fought once in over two years due to hand injuries and opponents pulling out. He’s raring to kick start his career and show the world what he is capable of.
Hughes returned to action in March, when he stopped Stephen O’Neill in the first round.
“It was the best feeling in the world,” Hughes told MMA UK. “One of the most important days of my life, so far. I overcame crazy obstacles over the two years since my pro debut at only 19 years old. To get back doing what I love was indescribable.”
Having broken his hand in his debut against Adam Gustab on BAMMA 28 in February 2017, Hughes explains how tough it was to get back into action.
“It was the most challenging thing that’s ever happened to me.” Explains Hughes. “I broke my hand in my debut and over the next year had three more hand breaks when preparing for my next planned fights.
“Each time absolutely tore me to pieces. This sport is my life and to have it taken away from you time after time was crazy. I felt like it was a dream. There were times I thought I would never fight again. Soul destroying stuff really.”
Taking to social media recently, Hughes stated that he felt fighters were avoiding him, I asked him if he could elaborate.
“They are absolutely 100% avoiding me. I had nine scheduled fights fall through in the space of four months. A crazy statistic. Every time I heard a new excuse. The game is full of pussies trying to pad their records. It’s starting to become like boxing.” Hughes said.
One fighter Hughes would like to face is Bellator fighter, Richie Smullen. Smullen beat Hughes when they were both competing as amateurs and Hughes wants the chance to avenge that loss.
“I’ve always wanted that win back with Smullen,” he said. “I am as competitive as they come and I absolutely hate to lose in the fighting.
“We fought when I was still a teenager and he just held me against the cage for three rounds and stalled out a victory. Just like his last professional fight against a guy I KO’d in ninety seconds.
“He fights like a bitch. And I’m tired of fighters like him getting the ‘special treatment’ and being given easy fights. I would KO him with ease.”
So is the fight likely?
“He said he is already matched for September. Exactly the point I was getting at in my post, talking about fighters getting ‘special treatment’. Being quiet has gotten me nine pullouts so its time to make some noise.” Stated Hughes.
Having been out for two years, Hughes hopes to be more active over the next year.
“This year I wanted at least five fights,” he said. “After coming off the two-year layoff, I promised myself I would have the most active year possible and end the year 6-0. Ready to challenge for world titles in 2020. But it’s literally impossible to get someone to fight me.
“I’ve accepted fights up weight classes, on a weeks notice, for literal pennies, and I still can’t get the ‘fighters’ to make fight day. It’s been incredibly frustrating.
“I look at what I’ve overcome already in my young career and this is nothing like it. My mind is bulletproof at this stage. All I can do is continue to do what I do every day, work my ass off until I’m the best featherweight in the world. I just have to be patient.”
Anybody looking for a fight then they know who to contact, Paul Hughes.
Photo Credit – Paul Hughes Facebook