Paul Felder explains why he accepted the fight of Rafael dos Anjos

Less than 24 hours ago, Paul Felder didn’t even know if he would set foot in the UFC cage again – but on Saturday, he would do the same.

Accepting a five-round fight over a five-day notice against a former UFC lightweight champion is not common practice among MMA fighters. However, Felder (17-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC) will do the same when he steps in to take on Rafael Dos Anjos in the main event of the UFC Fight Night 182 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas – then he admitted on Monday that Islam Makhachev’s withdrawal.

“I thought about it and I decided to lose all the things going on in the world and all the sad things going on in people’s lives and their jobs and suffering and we just lost Alex Freaking Trebak to pancreatic cancer, I was, ‘Man, you know you’re still 36 “You’re young. You’re in shape. Make a date. Let’s pay. Let’s party. You’re fighting a legend,” Feld said in an interview with ESPN on Monday. “What do I have to lose?”

Time would not have been better for Feder. Walking normally around 200 pounds, Federer fell down in preparation for the next triathlon in recent weeks. While he is not yet in the lighter weight area, Felder announced he will have to cut between 14 and 23 pounds before Friday’s official weight-ins.

“I’m good below (180),” Felder said. “I’m in my 70s. I will give you. I’m in my 70s. With a little time and water loading and dehydration, I’ll be fine. ”

So why not take a catch weight? Both Felder and Dos Anjos (30-13 MMA, 18-11 UFC) have competed in welterweight in the past, although they mostly stay at 155 pounds. According to Felder, Dos Anjos focused on making his place on the lightweight and created a set-in-stone stipulation that would make him fight.

“I think he really wants to fight the top 155 individuals to make a comeback and give himself a chance,” Felder said. “Obviously, we talked about catchweights. But I know with major events, if possible, they prefer to keep it in the weight class. It was one thing, ‘Do you think you can make it?’ It’s not going to be fun, but I’m going to make it. “

Unlike many other last-minute major event changes, Federer v. Dos Anjos is a five round fight. Felder suggested he was fascinated by the decision to keep the fight to a full 25 minutes.

“I like five-round fights,” Felder said. “If you’re going to do the main event, I want to do it right. That’s what he had to do. Yes, five rounds. I’m excited to do another five rounds, especially with someone like RDA. This is an experience. We are going to see. My brain is refreshed. My body is refreshed. I don’t hit as hard as I normally would, but I’m still technically sharp and very fit, so we’ll see. ”

After openly contemplating MMA retirement recently, Federer sees the fight as a no-loss situation. The chance to advance his brand, whether he should win – and the risk, should he lose, is low.

“I know I’m coming to the end of my career soon,” Felder said. “This, I think, is a win-win for me because if I go there and I can make RDA a former champion and beat him, it gives me a lot of selling points in getting these big fights out. Seems to be happening. Me here in the first five of the lightweight division at UFC. If I go down the stairs then how can you not give me something big? And, if it doesn’t get in my way, then I save the day. I’m going to try to win there, so we’ll see. ”

According to Felder, losing an MMA contest increases the chances of winning. Victory allows him to set out for sunset, while loss will rekindle the need to prove himself.

“I say 50-50 (this is my last fight)” Felder said. “I was thinking about that. What a way to be like a ‘boom’. Mike-drop. ‘So, yes, (retirement barriers) will probably increase. If I’m lost, then I want to get back there for one more. It eats me (Dan) just like a hooker fight. I was ready to move on and then it’s like this, you still haven’t proved I’m capable. “

UFC Fight Night 182 takes place on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and streams on ESPN +.