UFC flyweight Patrick “Paddy” Holohan announced his retirement on Monday due to a rare blood clotting disorder.
“I was born with a factor missing in my blood called Factor XIII,” Holohan explained. “I never disclosed it then or now. I can no longer pass the medical requirements to compete.
“I knew that it was so rare that organizations wouldn’t understand or take the chance with me, as I have found out now. I never explained in full to my coach, John Kavanagh, or my team the actual risks because I didn’t think there was excess risk.”
The 27-year-old has mixed feelings about having to walk away from mixed martial arts competition.
“I’m happy because I always wore my heart on my sleeve, never cheated, never turned away from diversity or challenges, and always strived to inspire and encourage people from all backgrounds,” Holohan told UFC.com.
“And I’m sad because I will never make that walk again, under those lights, feeling all those uncomfortable, yet life-giving feelings as they count and you hear ‘Walk, walk, walk,’ staring into a camera, knowing millions are watching, but most importantly the Irish are watching.
“Thanks to all of my team over the past nine years at SBG,” Holohan, a teammate of UFC champion Conor McGregor, added. “My coach John who backed me regardless when I had nothing but effort to offer him in payment, it’s been an incredible journey for this council kid!
“To all the Irish people and people of my hometown of Tallaght who have always caught my falls and helped me back to my feet, I am forever grateful to the people who have backed me through thick and thin. This has made me the man I am today.”
Holohan fought five times in the UFC, most recently headlining UFC Fight Night 76 in Dublin. He was expected to face Willie Gates at UFC Fight 87 on May 8. UFC officials are currently seeking a replacement opponent for Gates.