‘The whole card would have been scrapped’ - RDA calls Felder fight a ‘blessing’

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by TCE, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. TCE TCE = The Corona Effect

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    For a moment there, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos thought his chance to fight at UFC Vegas 14 might be gone. After his original opponent, Islam Makhachev, was forced out of their main event bout due to injuries, it seemed unlikely whether the UFC would be able to find a suitable replacement in time.

    Enter the ‘Irish Dragon’.

    Just five days shy of fight night, semi-retired lightweight and color-commentator Paul Felder seized the opportunity and stepped up to meet RDA in the Octagon. A ballsy move that – according to the former champion – didn’t just save his fight, but quite possibly the entire card, from cancellation.

    “We heard that if our fight didn’t happen, the whole card would have been scrapped.” Rafael told Combate. “It was a huge responsibility. Everyone is in quarantine. Times are hard for everyone. A lot of people are expecting this money and to work. All that responsibility fell on my lap, pretty much. I want those guys to fight. It was a blessing that Paul Felder took the fight, a higher-ranked guy. Makhachev is a southpaw and a wrestler, Felder is orthodox and a striker, so things changed a little. But a fight is a fight and everything will work out.”

    After hearing from his manager that Makhachev had been removed from the card, dos Anjos was offered a number of opponents, including welterweights—but none seemed like the right fight to fill the spot. In the Brazilian’s opinion, former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler should have been the man to step up and take the opportunity, but he was surprised to learn that ‘Iron’ Mike also turned the offer down.

    “I arrived in the USA two weeks before the fight. Sunday night, my manager called to tell me that Islam was out of the fight, I couldn’t believe it. It took me a while to process it. Then the negotiation started. Lots of people offering themselves for the spot. We were looking for the best option. They asked me if I could fight at welterweight. I was already below 170 pounds, so I couldn’t really take any welterweights like that. I’ve been training, I want to show I’m back at lightweight and I still have the skills to win the lightweight belt again. So I wanted to fight at lightweight.”

    “I had the idea to send a tweet to Michael Chandler. He didn’t fight three weeks ago (when Chandler took the replacement spot for UFC 254, in case Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje withdrew from the fight). He’s always posting pictures and videos, so I thought ‘that’s our guy’. He’s always in shape, too and writing some catchphrases like ‘Always be ready’. Then he said he had other plans and that’s when the UFC offered me Paul Felder. That’s a fight we were already trying to book back in August. My weight wasn’t really doing that well back then, so it didn’t work. Then they offered me Makhachev again after a while, but I’m fighting Paul Felder on Saturday.”

    Currently on a two-fight losing skid, Rafael dos Anjos (29-13) dropped unanimous decisions to both Leon Edwards and Michael Chiesa in his last outings at welterweight. The 36-year-old’s last win dates back to May 2019, when he tapped out Kevin Lee with an arm-triangle choke.
     
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  2. Reach4theSky Playin' a riddim

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    Felder is a great company man. This is a good way to score points with Dana..

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Substance Abuse Plutonium Belt Platinum Member

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    Respect on Paul's name. Win or lose, he's a fucking bad ass for taking this fight. He was a bad ass before it.

    In before him being shit on the mic. He's better than he gets credit for.
     
  4. Failwani Black Belt

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    Card would not have been scrapped. This is the ESPN era, WME knows there's still enough hardcore simps who will watch any piece of shit card with UFC branding on it. Their only care is fulfilling the contractually agreed upon amount of events.
     
  5. richardjohnson Purple Belt

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    Agreed. Also have to give RDA his due credit as well. Felder is a completely different fighter than Islam and RDA was undoubtedly training to not get taken down and out grappled which likely won’t be a factor now.
     
  6. Mr.Maelstrom "Pull up" Belt

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    Hate to see either guy lose, all things considered
     
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  7. Goat St Pierre Yellow Belt

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    Makachev scared himself again
     
  8. mirko>anyone Red Belt

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    I’m so used to having rights regularly, that not having any this weekend would have felt a bit weird.
     
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  9. Kos Fan Purple Belt

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    Pulling for Paul. It would be awesome if he could pull off a win.
     
  10. Zebra Cheeks 2Cheeks Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    I’ll take felder over bisping anyday. And Paul’s getting better. I just don’t like him and Dom together because I think Dom struggles to commentate with other ex fighters
     
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  11. Substance Abuse Plutonium Belt Platinum Member

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    I think Paul is so much better in a two man booth. He struggles with people talking over him and his cadence is thrown off a bit.
     
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  12. Jojomojo Purple Belt

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    Irish Dragon bless.
    Dana likes that kind of stuff. So good for him as a company man.

    It also keeps Islam far of a notable opponent, because they might have rescheduled. So thats another plus.
    Imagine Islam would have beat RDA, how many threads about the "next Khabib".
     
  13. HaulParris Gold Belt

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    What other noteworthy fights are on this card?
     
  14. Raffen Banned Banned

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    Islam makhachev is lucky felder stepped in. He's already in the doghouse for being a consistent pullout merchant and a boring fighter.

    Dana would have been pissed if he had to scrap it
     
  15. Zebra Cheeks 2Cheeks Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Yeah that’s why he’s so good on the contender series
     
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  16. ralphus1 Extremely stable genius

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    Felder said his bout offer was so good he couldn't turn it down. Glad he's getting paid, set himself up for a nice career in commentary regardless.
     
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  17. VinceArch I am all of me.

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    War Felder. I hope he can get the win.
     
  18. Substance Abuse Plutonium Belt Platinum Member

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    100%.
     
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  19. Substance Abuse Plutonium Belt Platinum Member

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    That's awesome to read. He should get paid now for stepping up.
     
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  20. j18lee Brown Belt

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    Yeah, it's not a PPV, it's 2020 ESPN era. And who the fuck is Islam Makhachev that anyone cares about, and RDA is about 4 years from relevance and was probably among the lowest draws of any champion in terms of fan interest even back then.
    They could/would have just headlined Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Khaos Williams .
     

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