Things may be about to come full circle for Paul Felder, as he prepares to make 155 pounds as a potential replacement for Nurmagomedov or Poirier in their upcoming bout.
UFC 242 on September 7th in Abu Dhabi promises to put the best UFC fighters to the test. Especially in the main event where lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov faces off against Dustin Poirier.
Paul Felder will be rubbing shoulders with the headliners as he faces Edson Barboza in the co-main event. If the opportunity arises, Felder is clear that he will fill in for either Nurmagomedov or Poirier in the main event — even at the last minute.
This isn’t the first time Felder has put himself forward for a last-minute withdrawal against the lightweight champ. At UFC 223, Tony Ferguson was forced to pull out against “The Eagle” due to a knee injury. Max Holloway was expected to replace him but was deemed medically unfit to take the fight. As luck would have it, Felder was preparing to fight Al Iaquinta and put himself forward as the next replacement.
His luck ran out when the NYSAC rejected the potential matchup, citing that Felder was not a ranked fighter. Instead, his opponent, Iaquinta got the call and went on to fight Nurmagomedov at UFC 223. Despite the nonstop changes and subsequent loss for Iaquinta, he fought hard and gave Khabib some of the strongest adversity the champ has ever faced. Felder had no potential replacement for his fight and was ultimately removed from the card.
After suffering back-to-back cancelled bouts, Felder is pushing full steam ahead for the co-main event or potential main event next month in Abu Dhabi. Currently ranked number 10 in the lightweight division, Felder is preparing to weigh 155 or less in case either fighter drops out. On MMA Junkie Radio, Felder was asked if he was excited about the upcoming bout:
“A co-main event with Khabib and Poirier headlining? The answer is yes. I’ll be making 155 pounds for weigh-ins. Of course,” said Felder as he expects the unexpected at UFC 242.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/18/2019.