Gentle is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of an MMA fighter. On Sunday however, one Ultimate Fighter 19 contestant proved that even the toughest guys can have a soft spot for animals.
“I was at a wedding down the countryside on the west coast of Ireland on Saturday,” Cathal Pendred told FOX Sports. The next day, myself and my girlfriend went for a walk on the beach which was right beside the hotel we were staying in.”
“We saw a big crowd of people down by the water and we walked down to see what was happening,” the 26-year-old fighter continued. “We were told by the other people looking on that there was a baby dolphin that was quite injured and kept getting pushed back to shore by the waves. There was a man in the water trying to help the dolphin and I went in to help. The man told me he had been there for a while trying to push him back out but the dolphin kept getting washed back in. The man said he was now exhausted so I told him I would take over trying to help.”
The strong ocean currents and rocky terrain made for a difficult rescue, but eventually Pendred was able to save the dolphin.
“I continued trying to push the dolphin out past the waves but he continued to get washed back in. He was bleeding and had a lot of cuts so I think it was due to these injuries that he wasn’t strong enough to swim past the break,” Pendred said.
“At one point the current dragged him into a very rocky, shallow area of the beach and the dolphin became stuck. I couldn’t push him as his underside was scratching off the rocks and cutting him. So that’s when I picked up the dolphin and brought him to a deeper, less rocky area. I eventually was able to push him out past the waves and into the deeper part of the water. I stayed around for a while to make sure he wasn’t brought back in. And when I realized he wasn’t going to getting washed back, I headed for the hotel because I was wet and freezing.”
When on dry land, Pendred posted pictures of his dolphin rescue on his Twitter account with a caption that read:
“I just spent an hour in the sea at Doonbeg trying to save a baby dolphin. He was very hurt but alive and well now!”
“It wasn’t my typical walk on the beach, but I felt great about it afterwards,” Pendred said.