'This is my home, I'll never leave': Ex-McGregor teammate makes Irish politics move with Sinn Fein

'This is my home, I'll never leave': Ex-McGregor teammate makes Irish politics move with Sinn Fein
Ex-mixed martial artist Paddy 'The Hooligan' Holohan, a former teammate of Conor McGregor, has confirmed he will represent republican party Sinn Fein, which has historical links to the Irish Republican Army paramilitary group.

Holohan is a native of the Jobstown area of Tallaght in Dublin, an neighborhood known by locals for having a 'rough' reputation and will be one of five candidates contesting the upcoming local election on the Sinn Fein ticket.

Sinn Fein are the largest republican party in both Ireland and Northern Ireland whose central goal is to bring about a united Ireland. The party has had past association with both the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Provisional Irish Republican Army.

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In addition to being a former professional fighter, Holohan has found success as a coach in the ever-expanding SBG empire, having been handed the reins to his own gym in Tallaght - SBG Dublin 24. He is also the host of a popular podcast, 'No Shame'.

The UFC veteran is a prominent member of the local community and a vocal proponent of the positive impact that training in MMA can have on the local youth. Holohan has spoken on numerous occasions about his mixed martial arts was a big factor in him avoiding a life of crime in what is one of Dublin's more disadvantaged areas.

"I couldn't think of a more committed and enthusiastic member of our community to take on this challenge," Sinn Fein's Cathal King said of Holohan's decision to enter politics.

"Paddy is a committed Republican and a community activist and has always lended his hand and used his fame in the sporting world to help out local charities, groups and schools over the years.

"When I approached him to run, despite his busy schedule, he didn't hesitate to say yes with his usual infectious enthusiasm."

Holohan said of the news that he is looking forward to seeing his community "thrive".

"I have always said, this is my home and I would never leave it. I live here with my partner and two young boys and I am invested in our community and want to see it thrive for my family and for everyone around here."

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Holohan, 30, retired from mixed martial arts in 2016 just weeks before a scheduled bout against Willie Gates in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, following concerns about a rare blood disorder - Factor XIII deficiency, which can lead to blood coagulation problems. 

Prior to that, the Dubliner had assembled a 3-2 record in the UFC (12-2-1 overall). His UFC run will be best remembered for a first-round submission victory against Josh Sampo in the opening bout of the infamous UFC Dublin event in 2014 in which every Irish fighter on the card went unbeaten.

Holohan was also a cast-member on the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter.