Paul Felder: Short Notice Fight is Just The Latest “Stupid Stuff” in Career
Paul Felder raised eyebrows by agreeing to fight Rafael dos Anjos on short notice. But, 'The Irish Dragon's' explained why he took the risk.
When it was announced that the UFC was looking for a new opponent for Rafael dos Anjos, after Islam Makhachev withdrew, Paul Felder’s name didn’t seem to make the rounds.
But, recently the rugged, lightweight contender outlined why he decided to take the risky fight, and why doing “stupid stuff” could pay off.
Big rewards come with great risks
Makhachev had been booked to fight dos Anjos on November 14th. But, recently he was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed injury.
Not long after, it was announced that Felder had agreed to take the extremely, short notice fight. People who follow Felder know that he’s one of the most rugged, and toughest lightweights on the UFC roster.
But, due to his gig as a commentator, and because he cuts a lot of weight to make 155, the news likely surprised more than a few people.
Well, since the fight was announced, Felder has reported that he was already doing some training, and that’s why he’s not concerned about the weight cut (or the fact it’s a five round fight). But while talking to the media more recently, ‘The Irish Dragon’ outlined why he decided to face RDA, from a rankings perspective (quotes via MMA Junkie).
“I’m stepping in on five days’ notice to fight an absolute legend in RDA. If I lose and he takes my ranking, then OK, I know that maybe I’m not meant to be fighting for the title anyway.
The path is still there. With a win, how can you not argue to give me a fight that I really want with one of these top guys and one of these exciting matchups at 155 pounds?
So for me, it made sense.”
“You don’t get the things you want in life by being safe and not taking risks,” Felder said. “I’ve kind of made my career on fighting the dangerous guys, doing the crazy things, going to other countries and fighting in their backyards.
This is just another chapter of me doing the stupid stuff in my career”.
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There you have it. The 35-year-old also relayed the following.
“I think with a win, it would be awesome to just throw the gloves down and be like, ‘I’m done – five days!’ then walk away.
But there’s the other part of me that knows when that hand gets raised it’s going to be like, ‘Oh, I want to do that again.’ I want bigger fights. I want a camp for this one.”
Now, ordinarily, if you were to beat an unranked fighter, it wouldn’t do much for you, in terms of your title shot run. But, as Felder alluded to, RDA is no ordinary, run-of-the-mill fighter.
He’s a former champ, and if Felder can score a big win, under these circumstances, it will definitely shorten his road back to title contention.
Will that happen? Can Felder score the upset win? It’s going to be fascinating to see if he can.