Paul Felder is Taking a 5 Round Fight on 5 Days Notice. That’s Philly Tough.

Posted on November 12, 2020

Paul Felder UFC had long saved the date for Saturday’s UFC event in Las Vegas.

paul felder ufc RDA

Now he will save the show.

The exciting Philadelphia lightweight, appreciated for his all-action style, expected to work this event as a commentator. Felder has become a popular announcer for UFC events, transitioning smoothly into his next life.

But the last one called him back. As the main event.

And on five days notice, Felder agreed to oppose former champion Rafael dos Anjos, whose original opponent, Islam Makchachev, withdrew because of an undisclosed injury.

Rather than interviewing the fighters, Felder became a number, as in +168 at FanDuel against dos Anjos, -210.

Here are some other NJ sports betting numbers from FanDuel.

paul felder ufc

– Rafael Dos Anjos (-210)
Paul Felder (+168)
– Draw (+5000)

Method of Victory:
– Dos Anjos by KO/TKO: (+480)
– Dos Anjos by Points : (+135)
– Dos Anjos by Submission: (+600)
– Felder by KO/TKO: (+750)
– Felder by Points : (+300)
– Felder by Submission: (+1600)

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The odds at FanDuel Sportsbook reflects the expectation of a long fight. The bout is -174 to go the full distance, +136 to not go the distance.

Don’t know which fighter to back?

Outcome props exist with KO/TKO at +270, a submission at +490 and points at -190.

Here are some other headline matchups:

  • Eryk Anders -152 vs Antonio Arroyo, +124
  • Abdul Razak Alhassan -250 vs Khaos Williams +198
  • Julian Marquez -290 vs Saperbak Safarov +225

Paul Felder is a company man

Felder indicates this event wasn’t the case of a fighter itching for one more payday. A sense of loyalty accompanied this decision. He said the UFC had looked after him in recent fights, providing paydays that were beneficial toward the end of his career.  In making him a commentator, the organization made him a long-term part of the family.

This week, the family needed help, and the appeal was impossible to ignore.

What’s better than a chunk of money on short notice, especially in these times?

And what’s better than an encore?

Fighter’s Fight

Felder faces the same dilemma many fighters-turned-commentators experience. There’s always the lure of one more.

Showtime commentator Paulie Malignaggi took a break from announcing to prepare for some significant fights, including one against Adrien Broner in Brooklyn.

Last year, DAZN commentator Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora continually weighed offers to fight again, before declining. But he weighed it carefully.

Over the years, networks have also made announcing deals with fighters, hoping to obtain their services for a future big fight: think Lennox Lewis, George Foreman, Roy Jones Jr.

Felder observes a win-win. By saving the show, he’s endeared himself to Dana White for the future. And he can gain a spotlight, thus making his motives both fistic and altruistic.

This event addresses some conditions he’d placed about fighting at this time of his career.

Felder (17-5) has not fought since a hard-fought split-decision loss Dan Hooker in February (Most experts say he won that fight).

After that bout, Felder said he’ll consider retirement or only take fights that interested him.

This one does. Last week at this time, he was preparing for a triathlon. Now he’s in what amounts to an encore, saying that at age 36, it’s better to take his shot rather than wonder later in life if he’d left too early.

Felder is as tough as they come. Philly tough.

Felder has been in a number of bloody fights, including a 2019 win over James Vick in which he suffered a collapsed lung.

Afterward, he said “I have two lungs. Just give me a beer for sh**sake.”paul felder tough

Felder’s appeal stems from legendary toughness and a Donald Cerrone-like willingness to fight on short notice, against anyone.

But as Felder talked to TMZ about the risk of taking this fight:

He’s an underdog, for sure, but the rewards would be great if Felder triumphs.

Felder won two straight before the Hooker loss and has won five of seven overall. He is ranked number 7 in a division with some play. Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has announced his retirement. Top contender Justin Gaethje is coming off the loss to Khabib.

A match between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier is in the works for January.  The division needs to stir up some fights and if Felder pulls this off, he can vault quickly.

The rankings are being reshuffled. The question is where that will leave him.

From a handicapping standpoint, it’s not easy to gauge the fighters.

Dos Anjos (29-13) is moving back to lightweight after a rough stretch welterweight. The Brazil native has dropped four of five, though all against top welterweight fighters. Dos Anjos, 36, held the UFC lightweight title in 2015 and 2016.

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Written by
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a national multi-award-winning writer, and broadcaster, writes extensively on the evolving legalized sports-wagering world. Over the past four decades, he has called fights for all major networks, authored columns for the Associated Press, Atlantic City Press, and iGaming Player. He is in the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and a Sam Taub Award for broadcast excellence, given by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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