Former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor hasn’t fought in over a year now. Instead, he’s been battling with legal issues outside of the Octagon.
Given McGregor’s extra-curricular activities, lightweight contender Paul Felder feels the Irish fans that were once behind “The Notorious” is now turning on him.
“You’re representing Ireland and you got all these Irish fans behind you but I think they’re turning on you,” Felder said in a recent TMZ interview (transcript by BJPenn.com). “If you want to fight somebody’s who’s got that Irish blood in him too who’s an American, why don’t you fight an Irish American? Let’s get the Irish-American vs. the real Irishman and see who’s tougher.”
Bearing the nickname “The Irish Dragon,” Felder further made a case for himself.
“Our family came over here and bred in America. We’re a lot stronger and tougher,” he said. “We got a little mixed blood going on here. So if you think you’ve got the chin and the toughness to beat somebody like me, let’s go, man. You think that left hand is dynamite, I guarantee you can’t put me down with it.
“I’m just gonna show the fans what a real martial artist looks like,” he added. “Somebody who doesn’t have to talk sh-t and get in trouble and have a million lawsuits against me. It’s just not my style. I go in there to put on fights, put on shows.
“I’ll show the people somebody that they can get behind and kids out there can be proud to represent. There’s too much trash going on in this division right now.”
Felder is currently on a two-fight win streak. His most recent victory happened at UFC 242, where he avenged his loss to Edson Barboza via a split decision verdict.