In 2022, Ireland firmly established itself in the realm of mixed martial arts. For the last 30 years, this field has been heavily dominated by Brazil, Japan, and the US. Several Irish fighters have shown impressive performance and have great potential to achieve enormous success in 2023 competitions.
As an MMA fan or punter, you can expect plenty of betting opportunities, with most online bookmakers setting up odds for upcoming matches. Some top Irish MMA fighters you can watch out for or bet on include Conor McGregor, Norman Parke, and Rhys Mckee. To never miss a match, you can keep track of upcoming MMA matches using betting apps where you can also take advantage of the pre-match odds.
McGregor is not only the most successful fighter in Ireland but also in the world. In 2022, he was ranked as the world’s highest-paid athlete earning a whopping $43M. The 35 years mixed martial arts fighter was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. His main achievements include winning the UFC Featherweight & Interim Featherweight Champion. He also has a record for the most knockouts (6) in the UFC Featherweight Division as well as the fastest title fight to victory in UFC history (13 seconds).
Norman Parke is a renowned mixed martial artist from Northern Ireland. He has been a professional player since 2006 and made his first main fight when he defeated Colin Fletcher in The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes finals. His other accomplishments include the Cage Contender Lightweight Champion (one time) and the Interim KSW Lightweight Champion (one time).
Rhys Mckee is another highly competitive Northern Ireland MMA fighter. Collectively, he has an 11-4 record throughout his MMA career. He made his debut in Cage Warriors in 2021, and in 2022, he earned the Cage Warriors welterweight title at Cage Warriors 140: Belfast. After losing back-to-back fights in his UFC debut, this win seems to have gotten him back on track. He is still optimistic about making a comeback to UFC, and this is definitely one of the fighters to watch in 2023.
In November 2022, Paul Hughes was crowned the Cage Warriors featherweight champion after he outclassed Jordan Vucenic. This win saw him become the undisputed 145lbs champion at London’s Indigo Arena. But this is not his first incredible performance. Looking back at his professional debut back in 2017 during the Fight Academy, this fight has been termed as one of the most impressive from an Irish fighter.
Ian Machado Garry
Going by this nickname, ‘The Future,’ Garry is one of the top Irish fighters with untapped potential and a bright future in MMA. The 25-year-old Welterweight Fighter made his MMA debut in February 2019 after recording 6 wins and 1 loss in the amateur scene. His debut at the Cage Warriors 101 was also a success after defeating James Sheehan. Currently, his MMA record reads 8 wins and 0 losses.