UFC lightweight veteran Paul Felder was not in fight camp when he got the call to step in for the ailing Islam Makhachev on just five days notice, nor was he paying attention to what he weighed. That’s on top of the fact that he hasn’t competed since losing to Dan Hooker last February.
But if you think any of those obstacles were enough to stop Felder from making the 155-pound weight limit and fighting a former champion for 25 grueling minutes, then perhaps you don’t know “The Irish Dragon,” who at age 35 hasn’t lost an ounce of passion for combat sports.
Besides, catchweights are for wimps.
“I’m in the 70s,” Felder told ESPN MMA (transcribed by MMA Junkie) about his weight. “With some time and water-loading and dehydration, I’ll be fine. Obviously, we talked about catchweights. But I know with main events, if possible, they like to keep it at the weight class. That was one of the things, ‘Do you think you can make it?’ It’s not going to be fun, but I’m going to make it.”
Felder (17-5), who flirted with retirement after losing a razor-thin decision to “The Hangman,” will battle Rafael dos Anjos in the UFC Vegas 14 headliner, locked and loaded for this Sat. night (Nov. 14, 2020) inside the promotion’s APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And the part-time commentator is ready to go the distance.
“I like five-round fights,” Felder continued. “If you’re going to do a main event, I want to do it right. I know I’m nearing the end of my career soon. This, I think, it’s win-win for me because if I go in there and I can finish and beat RDA, a former champ, then it gives me a lot of selling points to be getting these bigger fights which seem to be alluding me at the top five of the lightweight division here in the UFC. How do you not give me something big after this if I go in there after stepping up? And if it doesn’t go my way, then I saved the day. I’m going in there to try to win, so we’ll see.”
Felder is currently ranked No. 7 at 155 pounds and could find himself back in the Top 5 with a commanding performance against Dos Anjos (29-13), who looks to re-enter the lightweight Top 15 after spending more than three years at welterweight.
To see who else is fighting at UFC Vegas 14 this weekend in “Sin City” click here.