According to Michael Bisping, Paul Felder has been pulled from his commentary gigs on UFC Fight Island as a precaution.
Felder was scheduled to commentate all four Fight Island cards, starting with UFC 251 this Saturday, and concluding with UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till on July 25. Regrettably, he’s apparently been pulled from those commentary spots.
Bisping, who will now commentate three of four Fight Island cards to help cover for Felder, explained the situation on his Believe You Me podcast. The former middleweight champion claims that, while Felder did not test positive for COVID-19, he sat next to Din Thomas on the plane, and Thomas did test positive. He’s therefore been excused from his commentary duties as a safety measure, and may have to quarantine for 14 days.
Paul Felder off Contender Series commentary because he sat next to Din Thomas who tested positive.
Get ready for a higher rate of “He’s hurt” and over exaggerated shrieks of excitement for the DWCS fights. I do like Bisping w/ the prospect fights though, he seems more interested pic.twitter.com/ty1aqoEtvP
— Dusty Andrews (@Fight_Expert) July 8, 2020
“Din Thomas tested positive,” Bisping said. “Mike Brown, he tested positive. There’s been about five or six positive tests.
“I do know this. Paul Felder, poor guy, he was sat next to Din Thomas on the flight. So, he passed his test, but they’re erring on the side of caution. I think he’s going to be quarantined for 14 f**king days.
“I get his work,” Bisping added with a laugh. “I get to stay here a little bit longer now, commentating. I’m sorry, Paul, but I’m not that sorry cause I will be taking your cash, baby boy.”
Paul Felder is no doubt disappointed by this turn of events. Speaking to MMA Junkie recently, the long-time lightweight contender acknowledged that calling four cards in three weeks would be a challenge, but seemed to be embracing it.
“I’m calling every fight,” Felder said. “I’m working the desk for every fight and calling every fight. I’m out there all three weeks. So, I’ve got a lot of work to do as well. There’s quite a lot of research when you have to call four fight cards and also talk pre and post-fight shows as well.”