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UFC Fight Night 76 results recap: Paddy Holohan vs Louis Smolka fight review and analysis

Last night (Sat., Oct. 24, 2015), Paddy Holohan and Louis Smolka clashed at UFC Fight Night 76 inside 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. In an entertaining grapplefest, Smolka earned the rear naked choke finish. Find out how below!

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight up-and-comers Paddy Holohan and Louis Smolka dueled last night (Oct. 24, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 76 inside 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.

While the main event placement was certainly a surprise for the Irishman, this was a huge fight for Holohan before that shakeup. If he managed to win this fight, Holohan would be on a three fight winning streak, likely enough to break into the flyweight division's top 15.

Similarly, Smolka had won three of his last four and was clearly improving between fights. With so few contenders in the Flyweight division, the Hawaiian was poised to make a run towards the top if he could pull out the victory.

Holohan immediately rushed towards his opponent and secured a takedown into side control. Smolka attempted to counter with a slick d'arce setup and used it to stand into the clinch. From there, the two fighters traded positions in an entertaining grappling war.

After a solid two minutes of reversals and positional exchanges, the fight moved into the stand up. Smolka began landing some very hard kicks, but Holohan did his best to close the distance and avoid his opponent's strikes.

All in all, this was a highly entertaining and even round, featuring a bevy of different submission attempts.

Smolka started the round with some nice strikes, but a Holohan takedown directly into back mount changed the momentum of the fight. For the next minute or so, Holohan controlled and threatened with the rear naked choke.

Eventually, Smolka reversed position and came out on top. From top position, Smolka battered his opponent with nasty ground strikes, punished his opponent's submission attempts, and attacked with chokes of his own.

This quickly wore on Holohan. Before long, Smolka had moved into mount and nearly secured a ground and pound finish. Holohan turned his back, but it only bought him another few seconds, as Smolka locked in a rear naked choke and forced the submission.

In this bout, Smolka's strengths and weaknesses were illustrated pretty thoroughly. On the plus side, Smolka's clinch throws and grappling were quite slick. In addition, Smolka's stand up -- which is certainly still in development -- looked better than ever, as his offensive output landed cleanly and did damage.

Most importantly, Smolka's conditioning really won him the fight. Early on, Holohan was winning the scrambles and wrestling exchanges. However, those battles were happening at a very high pace, and Holohan could not keep up as the fight wore on.

Despite his success, Smolka's takedown defense remains the biggest issue keeping him from being an elite flyweight. His scrambling from the bottom is excellent, but he shouldn't be thrown to his back so easily. Against top fighters, that will be a serious issue for him.

Now on a three fight win streak, Smolka deserves a step up in competition. Ideally, a match up with Ray Borg would make sense for both young grapplers.

Similarly, Holohan's entire game was on display in this scrap. His offensive wrestling and strong submission grappling were obvious early on, as he took Smolka down at will and threatened with submissions. Plus, he nearly locked in a rear naked choke at the start of the second round.

However, Holohan's striking is weaker than the rest of his game. He's not bad offensively, but he's quite hittable. Considering how much Smolka throws, hittable is definitely not a good trait here. Finally -- likely due to his weight cut -- Holohan's conditioning is not his best attribute, as he slowed down in his last loss as well.

After this loss, a scrap with someone like Chris Cariaso would make sense for Holohan. Alternatively, he could take a bigger step back and face off with fellow UFC Dublin also-ran Jon Delos Reyes.

Last night, Louis Smolka came out on top of a grappling war with Paddy Holohan. How high can the young Hawaiian climb in the flyweight division?

For complete UFC Fight Night 76 "Holohan vs Smolka" results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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