This main event was not looking promising as initially scheduled opponent Islam Makhachev pulled out the fight with an injury just last Saturday.
Incomes superman incarnate, Paul Felder. On 5 days notice, The Irish Dragon committed to making weight at 155lb. He succeeded at the nearly impossible task and is now now set to fight tonight against Raphael dos Anjos.
Credit has to go to Felder’s year-round condition as he is always fit and fairly light. He has stated on commentary that he walks around at about 180lbs so the 25lb cut in 5 days is still, absolutely crazy.
Raphael Dos Anjos is coming off two losses to Michael Chiesa and Leon Edwards. He will be motivated to get back onto winning form and a fight against a 5 days notice Paul Felder is a great way to start.
This fight is tough, my heart says Felder, my head says Dos Anjos. Let’s break it down and see what I’ll be going with for this main event battle.
Let’s start with Dos Anjos, the Brazilian is a high level Muay Thai striker and one of the best Jiu Jitsu fighters in the division, having a 4th degree black belt. He has a fantastic top game and knows how to control a fight that takes place on the floor. This is his strength in the fight.
Dos Anjos will be looking to utilize his ground game against Felder, you have to imagine that the former UFC lightweight champion was sharpening his ground game for the anticipated fight against Makhachev.
Paul Felder is a tough, technical kick boxer/taekwondo fighter who has danced with the best in the division. So he is no stranger to high level competition.
In his last fight, Felder had a monumental battle with lightweight contender Dan Hooker where many believe The Irish Dragon won. However, Hooker won the on the night decision to give Felder the loss.
We learnt a lot about Paul in that fight. How tough he is, how consistently hard he hits and how good his stamina is. All of them things will come into play against dos Anjos as Felder will try to keep the action on the feet with his impressive arsenal of attacks. From leg kicks to spinning back-hands, he has a huge array of ways to do damage to hos opponents.
The elephant in the room is how short notice Felder has this fight on.
5 days notice is not much time to prepare for a 5 round fight while cutting 25lbs. Luckily, Felder was training for a marathon before he took the fight, meaning his cardio should hold out nicely.
I think that I’m going with my heart this time, Paul Felder is no stranger to a world class opponent. He showcased what he can do against the dangerous Dan Hooker and I believe it will be enough to carry him through. Even on short notice.
Dos Anjos has struggled against top level opponents in the past, his last win against a solid contender was last May against Kevin Lee. After that, the Brazilian was beaten by Edwards and Chiesa.
I think Felder has got this, by a decision.
I can’t wait regardless of the result.