Shortly after Conor McGregor finished Donald Cerrone in the UFC 246 main event, he targeted several other fighters. One of the fighters on his radar seemed to lightweight contender Paul Felder, who was working as a cage-side commentator on the night.
McGregor referenced the “mouthy fools” sitting cage-side, and according to Felder, said “f**k you” as he passed by the commentary fight post-fight.
At the time, Felder wasn’t convinced McGregor was actually talking about him. That said, he experienced first hand what even an unclear callout from the Irish MMA star can do for a fighter’s exposure.
“I was there like what? Is he talking about me?” Felder told MMA Fighting. “Some people are saying he was talking about me. Other people were saying he was talking about [Kamaru] Usman or [Jorge] Masvidal. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. It got me plenty of attention even if it wasn’t meant towards me. It doesn’t matter. But we’re having fun with it.”
Felder, of course, would likely welcome a fight with Conor McGregor in the future, but is currently occupied with more imminent challenges. This weekend, in the main event of UFC Auckland, he’ll battle Dan Hooker in a fight that could propel the winner into title contention.
“I’m like, guys, it’s a joke,” he said. “I’m not fighting Conor right now, I’m fighting Dan Hooker. Relax.”
Paul Felder will enter his UFC Auckland headlining scrap with Dan Hooker on two-fight streak, having recently defeated James Vick and Edson Barboza, both by decision.
Hooker, meanwhile, is also on a two-fight streak, having picked up recent wins over James Vick and Al Iaquinta.
How do you think Paul Felder will do against Dan Hooker? Do you think we could see him fighting Conor McGregor down the line?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/18/2020.