Paul Felder added another notch to his fan love belt when he agreed to step in for Islam Makhachev against former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos at Saturday’s Fight Night. What stands out the most is not his very short notice agreement it is his choice to keep the fight at 155 pounds because this bout heralds the return of Rafael to the lightweight division.
Paul spoke with ESPN about his decision to take the fight as well as why he took it at lightweight.
I thought about it and I decided with everything going on in the world and all the sad things going on in people’s lives and losing their jobs and suffering and we just lost Alex freaking Trebek to pancreatic cancer, I was like, ‘Man, you know you’re still 36. You’re young. You’re in shape. Save the date. Let’s go get paid. Let’s have fun. You’re fighting a legend.
If you know Paul then you understand that he really is a nice guy and when he calls Dos Anjos a legend he means it. Maybe that was a large part of the reason he respected keeping it at lightweight despite concerns about the quick weight cut.
I think he really wants to be fighting the top guys at 155 to make his comeback and give himself a chance. That was one of the stipulations. Obviously, we talked about catchweights, but I know with main events, if possible, they like to keep it at the weight class. That was one of the things, ‘Do you think you can make it?’ It’s not going to be fun, but I’m going to make it.
What do you think about his taking this fight and agreeing to 155 pounds?