Paul Felder Looking To End 2017 With 3 Wins, 3 Finishes, And 3 Bonuses At UFC 218
Paul Felder is enjoying a great run of late and he’s looking to make it three wins in three when he takes on Charles Oliveira this Saturday at UFC 218.
Felder was originally scheduled to take on Al Iaquinta, but when the Serra-Longo man pulled out of the fight with an injury, Felder was left high and dry without an opponent. Luckily, Oliveira was at hand to step in for Iaquinta and Felder now gets the opportunity to end the year on high in Detroit.
Speaking exclusively to MMANytt.com earlier today, Felder explained how the switch of opponent came about.
“About a month out, maybe a little more, I heard Iaquinta was out,” Felder said. “It takes a minute to get the contract signed and everybody was announcing it and that, but I knew in a good amount of time to prepare for the switch of an opponent and to get ready for Charles instead of Al.
“Things in my camp didn’t really change all that much because I’m always trying to get my jiu-jitsu better every camp any way because I know guys are going to look to try to exploit that in me. That’s something I’ve been working on regardless whether I’m fighting Charles or anyone else.”
Ready for Oliveira
Oliveira, a BJJ black belt, has 14 of his 22 career wins via submission and is know to be deadly on the mat. Felder respects his ground game, but feels that on Saturday night he will have all the answers to the questions he poses.
“We had to up the takedown defence during camp for sure,” Felder admitted. “Al likes to shoot a takedown here and there, but he’s also ready to go after it. He would’ve been excited like me and I think we would’ve stood and traded.
“Don’t get me wrong, Charles isn’t afraid to use his Muay Thai and throw his elbows and his kicks and it was actually more fun to prepare for his style of kick heavy Muay Thai because Al is a little more elusive.
“Duke [Roufus] and I had a lot of fun preparing for this one.”
Inching closer to the top
With four wins in his last five fights, Felder is inching closer to the top-15 of the division. Had he faced, Iaquinta, Felder would’ve arguably faced his biggest name yet, but with that now off the table, he’s yet again having to wait an opportunity to fight one of the bigger names at 155-pounds.
“I feel like I’m getting really close to that and I would’ve had it with Al, but obviously that’s the game,” Felder said. “I’m not going to not fight because he doesn’t have a number next to his name. I think sometimes guys put way too much emphasis on the rankings.
“Truly, I believe that Dana and the crew are looking at what guys are going out, doing their job and being exciting.”
“That said, with a win over Charles, he’s a game opponent and he’s been around forever. I think a win gets me a big fight next time and I’m planning on making that happen on Saturday.”
Eggnog and whiskey
With three wins, three finishes and three bonuses in mind, Felder walks into the bout confident he can get the job done. This Saturday it’s all about winning as quickly and efficiently as possible and getting back home to the family.
“You better believe I’m after that finish,” Felder said. “I got eggnog in the fridge and I’m going to get some whiskey to put in there. I’m just ready to get on that stuff at Christmas. I’m always prepared for three hard rounds, but obviously, if I can get him out of there quick and get back to my family, that’s first and foremost in my mind.
“The perfect ending is we come out, we touch gloves and I hit with head kick or one of these elbows and knees and he can’t get back up.”
“It’s as simple as that.”