Welcome to the UFC: Caolan Loughran

Caolan Loughran, UFC Paris
Caolan Loughran, UFC Paris 2023 official weigh-in Credit: Patrick McCorry/Cageside Press

Lots of newcomers adorn the UFC Paris card this Saturday, which is headlined by heavyweights Ciryl Gane and Serghei Spivac. One of those is Ireland’s Caolan Loughran, a boisterous bantamweight who faces Taylor Lapilus, after original opponent Yanis Ghemmouri was shifted to a fight with William Gomis.

Caolan “The Don” Loughran
Standing at five-foot-six
Fighting at 135 lbs (bantamweight)
Fighting out of Tyrone, Ireland
Training out of Team Kaobon Liverpool
A pro record of 8-0
5 KO/TKOs, 2 Submissions

How Loughran will fare in the UFC:

Loughran is a new UFC fighter fresh off winning the Cage Warriors bantamweight title last May. He did start off his pro career fighting questionable regional names like Reece Street and Will Cairns who had a combined 0-70 record at the time. Since signing with Cage Warriors he proved himself by beating good guys like Luke Shanks and Dylan Hazan.

The striking of Loughran has improved greatly from the start of his career to now. There are still some defensive issues where his head sits on the centerline. It hasn’t been a problem as his footwork has been solid. Loughran does a good job of staying at his preferred range. He’s good at picking apart opponents with the jab, leg kicks, and has a slick check right hook. His hand speed is notable especially when he rips those short combinations at times.

In each of his fights, it’s a matter of time before Loughran takes the fight down where he’s most comfortable no doubt. Loughran does a nice job lulling guys to sleep on their feet before he shoots a takedown. He does a really good job of pushing guys against the cage and then shooting. Loughran has been a dominant grappler. He’s got strong positional ground and pound. He’s intelligent with his ground and pound as he lands while at the same time improving his position. Once he’s on the back he’s staying there as the control with the body triangle is tight. Constantly throwing punches and attempting chokes Loughran is tough to deal with.

I really like Loughran as a prospect. He’s absolutely UFC level so he fits right in well. I don’t know if he’s top 15 material as he needs to show a lot more. As of now he doesn’t have any glaring holes so he high a high ceiling.

How he matches up with Lapilus:

Due to a late-week switch, Loughran was supposed to fight Yanis Ghemmouri but Ghemmouri is now fighting William Gomis. Loughran is frankly the one who got screwed in the deal, having to fight Lapilus now. It’s still a winnable fight but a much tougher fight than the original match-up.

Lapilus is making his return to the UFC. He’s 7-1 since his UFC departure. As of right now, Loughran isn’t on the same level as Lapilus. Lapilus, to me, is already a top 20-25 bantamweight in the UFC. Lapilus is much cleaner on the feet and his takedown defense is solid so he should piece apart Loughran. I expect Loughran to do well but I believe Lapilus wins a unanimous decision.