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Paul Felder, That’s Who

Steven Cavagnino

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UFC lightweight Paul Felder rang in the new year just about as hard as he rang Danny Castillo’s bell during last Saturday’s UFC 182 prelims. Felder and Castillo headlined the preliminary bouts that were aired for free on Fox Sports 1, and despite the supposed mismatch, it was Felder’s KO that had people talking by the end of the bout.

The bout was an entertaining one, as both fighters were throwing hard enough end the fight in an instant. Surprisingly, Castillo only attempted a single takedown in the first round, which Felder shrugged off with relative ease. From that point, it was a striking match, which, as the bout progressed, Felder seemed to be getting the better of. About halfway through the second round Felder unleashed a brutal spinning back fist while countering a body kick that sent Castillo crashing to the mat and staring up at the lights.  It was obvious from the sound of the punch and the manner in which Castillo hit the mat, that this fight was over.

Although impressive, before the match, many people were scratching their heads trying to recall who Paul Felder was, and why he was fighting Danny Castillo, a tough, well established fighter who has 20 fights under the Zuffa organization. How is it that Felder, who is 1-0 in the UFC with a close split decision win was matched up against a man who has nearly 20 times his experience in the big leagues.

Well, simply put, it’s because he asked for it. The original prelim headliner for UFC 182 was to be a fight between Danny Castillo and rising star, Rustam Khabilov, a fight that saw Castillo as the potential underdog. But when Khabilov had to pull from the fight due to visa issues, Felder stepped up to proposition Joe Silva that he take the fight with Castillo on short notice. That proposition came in the form of a short and sweet text message: “Castillo?”

Ask and you shall receive.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Felder started his career in Mixed Martial Arts at 12 years old with Taekwondo. He went to college at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where he studied acting but never stopped training or competing. When the sport of MMA became mainstream, it was only a matter of time before he gave it a shot. Felder made his amateur debut in 2010. Going 1-1 as an amateur, he made the move to pro in 2011. Since then, he has had 10 fights, has never lost, and has 7 KO’s to his name. Felder started training at Renzo Gracie’s academy in Philadelphia, under the tutelage of Daniel Gracie. Felder made his pro debut at the Cage Fury Fighting Championships, of which he became the champion at 155 pounds.

The CFFC is a well established, well run organization that promotes itself as being the biggest ‘regional MMA organization’ in the country. Most fighters in the CFFC come from the talent-stacked tri-state area. 3 former CFFC fighters in George Sullivan (2-0 UFC), Aljamain Sterling (2-0 UFC), and now Felder, have made their way into the Ultimate Fighting Championships. 

On his way to the top, Felder defeated former TUF competitors, Julian Lane, and Marc Stephens. He defended his CFFC title belt once, winning via spectacular spinning wheel kick knockout. The kick was so spectacular that it got the attention of the UFC, who offered him a bout against Jason Saggo on short notice in Nova Scotia, Canada. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Felder is not the kind of guy to shy away from big opportunities, he took the fight in Nova Scotia on 10 days notice, and won via split decision.

Since that fight, Felder has spent time training with the most famous camp in the world, Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejon’s Martial Arts Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Still loyal to Renzo Gracie, Philadelphia, Felder splits his time between the two camps, seeing as he lives in Philly. Felder has also befriended a UFC lightweight you might be familiar with, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, who just rattled off his 6th straight win in the co-main event of UFC 182. During his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Felder thanked Cerrone personally, stating that he has been training at Cerrone’s personal gym, the ‘BMF Ranch’ in preparation for this fight.

During his fight at UFC 182, commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg brought up that Felder doesn’t consider his first win in the UFC a win at all. He stated coming into this match with Castillo that he feels he is 0-0 in the UFC and this fight is he real debut. Rogan and Goldberg speculated as to why Felder doesn’t count his first fight as a win, but no definite answer ever came to fruition. It’s safe to say that Felder is the type of fighter who only expects the best from himself, and isn’t afraid to take risks in order to win big. This might be why he doesn’t consider his split decision victory in Nova Scotia a win at all. But despite what he personally believes, his official UFC record is now 2-0, and that second win over Castillo is easily an early candadtie for knockout of the year. If winning big and taking home a $50,000 performance bonus wasn’t enough, as of yesterday, Felder is taking after Donald Cerrone’s example and already asking to fight in just a few weeks in Boston.

Felder is, without a doubt, a fighter to watch out for, he is the new breed of Mixed Martial Arts fighter and his potential is limitless. What is scariest about him is he improves drastically every time he sets foot in the cage. At 10-0 with a 70% knockout percentage, look for Felder to do big things in 2015. UFC 182 was the last time somebody will ask ‘who?’ when they see Felder’s name on the card. Paul Felder, that’s who.

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Fight Announcements

Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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