UFC On ESPN+ 41 : Paul Felder’s Passion Reignited By Dos Anjos Loss

UFC Vegas 14 - Paul Felder Rafael Dos Anjos
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 14: Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil reacts after his victory over Paul Felder in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 14, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Paul Felder seems to have seen his passion for the sport reignited after his loss to Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 182 (UFC On ESPN+ 41) on Saturday night at the UFC Apex.

Felder (17-6 MMA, 9-6 UFC), who stepped into the cage on six days notice against dos Anjos (31-13 MMA, 19-11 UFC) on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. He , lost a split decision to the former champ but was able to put on a good and competitive show over the course of five rounds, only didn’t do enough to win the fight.

Felder’s career has recently been uncertain as he has been contemplating retirement since loosing a split decision to Dan Hooker back in February. He has since been busy with his commentary work with the UFC and admitted he, might make a full transition soon but that seemed to have changed after the fight with dos Anjos.

“I can tell you guys with certainty: I’m not going anywhere right now,” Felder told Michael Bisping in his UFC Fight Night 182 post-fight interview. “I lost my passion for this sport pretty bad. I can tell you I’m not done. I might lose my ranking a little bit, but what I’ve learned in this sport is none of that matters. What matters is going out there, showing up, showing who you are inside and what determination you have.”

Felder was clearly happy with his performance from his post fight mentality and that is mostly due to the fact that he was able to go full five rounds after taking the fight on short notice and taking on an intense short notice weight cut.

Felder wasn’t actively doing any MMA training and that has been the case for the most of 2020. However, he sees his performance on Saturday, a personal improvement due to the circumstances surrounding his performance.

“I got a little tired there in the fifth, but I really think the problem is I was in striking shape and in really good cardio shape for the triathlon, but I hadn’t grappled,” Felder said. “I’ll be honest. Now I can be completely up front with you guys: I have not stepped foot in an MMA gym in almost four months. So (my performance) was completely based on pure endurance training and some pad work. Coming here and cutting over 22 pounds in four days, Thursday night was probably one of the darkest nights of my life cutting that weight, but I said I was going to be the first one on that scale, (and) I was the first one on that scale. I said I was going to give hell to a former world champion and give five rounds if I had to, and we just gave a five-round battle.”

Felder understands coming off a loss will definitely affect his ranking in the 155 pound division. However from experience, he believes non of those rankings matter as the fight was a competitive loss and he was able to go home with a “Fight Of The Night” bonus, including a newly found love for the sport.

“This is exactly what I wanted,” Felder said. “This sport breaks you, man. It’s tough. I see it day in and day out when I’m calling these fights. I needed something to motivate me again. … To get a split decision (with) this guy, and I think we got ‘Fight of the Night,’ I just hope the UFC is proud of me and happy, and I hope everybody back home – I love you guys. This was for my dad, this was for my family. This was for you guys.”

Rafael Dos Anjos And Paul Felder Share Hug After Fight

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