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UFC Fight Night 76 results: Louis Smolka finishes Paddy Holohan in entertaining scrap

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

UFC Fight Night 76 seemed like a cursed card, as it lost both it's original main event of Joseph Duffy vs. Dustin Poirier and the co-main of Stipe Miocic vs. Ben Rothwell in the leadup to the show.

But as is often the case when a reconfigured lineup is slammed online before it actually happens, Saturday's card still ended up being an entertaining event. And the makeshift main event between flyweights Louis Smolka and Paddy Holohan delivered.

In a matchup of skill vs. heart, Smolka showed a well-rounded game as he outlasted Holohan's sheer will before finishing the fight at Dublin's 3Arena with a second-round rear-naked choke.

"It as surreal," Smolka (10-1) said of his experience."I love you guys, can't wait to go out, drink some Guiness and some whiskey."

In the opening round, Holohan (12-2-1), out of Dublin's SBG, got the better of things on the ground, but Smolka dominated the standup. The Hawaiian rocked Holohan late and Holohan, with the vigorous support of the Irish crowd, held on until the horn.

Holohan took it to the ground early in the second and had Smolka's back for the better part of two minutes. But he never really took advantage of the position, and Smolka turned the fight in his favor as soon as he got top position. Eventually, Smolka began raining down punches from the mount, and when Holohan turned, Smolka sunk in the winning choke.

Holohan tapped at 4:09, raising Smolka's UFC record to 4-1.

"I never said I was the best, I never said I was gifted, but one thing, when I come out, I give it my all," Holohan said. "I was the opening on the main card, then I was the co-main event, then I was the main event, but hat's off to Louis."

The co-main event between lightweights Norman Parke and Reza Madadi was highly anticipated after a skirmish at Friday's weigh-ins.

Parke, of Belfast, Northern Ireland, threw a purse at Madadi. That was in reference to the Iranian's prison terms for his involvement in the burglary of $150,000 worth of high-end handbags in Sweden.

But that turned out to be the high point in the excitement between the two. In the bout, Parke shut down down Madadi (13-4), who was fighting for the first time in two years after being released from prison in March, for the better part of 15 minutes.

Parke (21-4-1), the former TUF: Smashes winner, got across-the-board 30-27 scores and snapped a two-fight losing streak.

"I just wanted to add more spice to the fight," Parke said to color commentator Dan Hardy. "I know guys hype up fights like Bisping yourself Conor McGregor, so I figured I'd get more hype for myself. Afterwards, we shook hands and made up. Sportsmanship after."

The evening featured a welterweight bout featured a pair of undefeated fighters. And when the bout was done, both remained undefeated, as Darren Till and Nicolas Dalby fought to a spectacular majority draw.

For the better part of two rounds, Till (13-0-1), a British fighter by way of Brazil, looked to be the superior fighter, as he used his reach advantage and footwork to fluster Dalby's attempts at offense.

In the third, through, Dalby (14-0-1) turned it on. A head kick rocked Till, and Dalby, appearing to understand he was down 2-0 in rounds, went for broke. Dalby dominated the remainder of the round as Till, who appeared to injure a shoulder, held on.

"I think I threw an overhand and I just felt my shoulder pop," Till said. "It's popped many times before but I've never had surgery on it. I was just trying to put it back into place without him noticing so that he couldn't capitalise on it. Finally it went back into place and I just tried to keep on fighting."

Dalby's third-round performance earned 10-8 scores from two of the three judges, making the final scores a pair of 28-28s and a 29-28 in Till's favor for the majority draw.

"I think a draw is fair, you know," Dalby said. "I knew he beat me in the first couple of rounds. But then I came back in the third. So I was happy with the draw. If you look at what he did in the first two rounds, I don't think I did enough to beat him so a draw is a fair result."

In the flyweight main-card opener, Dubliner Neil Seery brought the crowd to life in an exciting two-round scrap with a game Jon Delos Reyes.

Seery used a well-rounded striking game to push the pace in the fight. Delos Reyes, for his part, kept Seery honest. But Seery's approach eventually wore Delos Reyes down, so when a  tiring Delos Reyes shot in for a takedown, Seery easily transitioned it into a guillotine choke.

Delos Reyes (8-5) tapped at the 4:12 mark of the second round, sending the Irsh-flag-waving crowd into a frenzy.

"I knew he'd be dangerous but I knew I was hurting him," Seery said. "I didn't even want to warm up, I just wanted to go out there and enjoy the atmosphere. I think I got the loudest cheer of the night."

Seery (16-11) won for the third time in the past four fights and got his 12th career finish.

The most heated bouts on the undercard, unsurprisingly, involved Irish-affiliated fighters, producing split results for the hometown fans. Cathal Pendred was knocked out in the first round of his welterweight bout with Tom Breese, but SBG's Asiling Daly scored a win over Ericka Almeida in a strawweight bout.

It was a coming-out performance for Breese, of Birmingham, England, who never let Pendred get into his preferred methodical pace. Bresse brutalized Pendred (17-4-1) with punches before finally dropping him and finishing him on the ground at the 4:37 mark of the opening round.

Breese improved to 9-0 with all finishes.

"This is still only my second fight in the UFC and all I've been focusing on is beating Pendred," Breese said. "Mentally I always prepare for the worst - I prepare to find myself in difficult situations. But I believe my training was more superior than his, and ultimately that's why I won the fight."

Daly, meanwhile, imposed her will on Almeida (7-2) as she cruised to victory over the Sao Paulo-based fighter. The judges' scores were 30-27, 29-28, and 29-27.

"That was one of the best moments of my life," said Daly (15-6), who has won three of her past four. "These are the best fans in the world and that crowd was absolutely phenomenal. I could hear the crowd all singing along to my walkout song so that was really emotional. And to hear all that support during the fight, it was just the most amazing, memorable fight of my life. Thanks so Ericka for coming over and enjoying that with me. I'm open to anything next. Let's do it. But whoever gets me next is going to be sorry."

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