Lightweight contender Paul Felder received some well-earned props last week at UFC Vegas 14 for stepping in on a week’s notice to fight Rafael dos Anjos on Saturday’s headliner. And while he did lose on the scorecards via split decision, the level of respect that fans and fellow fighters already have for him only increased.
Felder’s overall attitude towards his chosen profession continues to garner praises. On Monday, Daniel Cormier revealed that “The Irish Dragon” agreed to accept a commentary assignment for Dana White’s Contender Series on Tuesday.
As DC told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani in their weekly show, the UFC first offered the task to him, which he hesitatingly accepted. Felder, however, called him up on Sunday to offer to take on the role, instead.
"He’s gonna put back on his nice suit and he’s gonna call those Contender Series fights. That’s Paul Felder for you… That is gangster."@dc_mma reveals that @felderpaul will be in the broadcast booth for #DWCS on Tuesday, three days after his fight against RDA pic.twitter.com/0Nvx0QngU5— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 16, 2020
“I was like, ‘what a legend. Paul Felder’s doing the Contender Series tomorrow,” Cormier said.
“Listen to the week that old Paulie red ‘stache from Philly had. Takes the fight on three and a half days’ notice. On Thursday, weight cut was so difficult. I heard from (Felder’s nutritionist) Ian Larios it was one of the hardest weight cuts ever. But Paulie, the gangster that he is, makes the weight. Not only does he make the weight, he fights 25 minutes against a former champion in RDA.
“People don’t forget this,” he added. “The upper brass doesn’t forget this, the fans won’t forget this. When the Contender Series starts and you’re up there three days after a fight against RDA calling the fights, you’re a legend.”
Cormier continued to laud his broadcast colleague, while comparing the situation if he were in Felder’s shoes.
“When I lose, I run away. I run away for six weeks, two months. I’m gone,” Cormier said. “Because I need to lick my wounds. Paul Felder goes, ‘You know what? I’ve gotta job to do. My job is to be there on Tuesday, I’ll be there to do it. Unreal.
“People talk about good guys in this sport, and you’re almost tempted to believe that it’s fake,” he added. “Like, ‘this guy’s putting on, this is an act.’ Not an act with Paul Felder, man. He really is that guy. He’s great at his job, he fought his butt off for 25 minutes against RDA.
“Yeah, he lost, but did he really? And on Tuesday night when the Contender Series starts, Paul Felder will be sitting at that table calling those fights. That is gangster.”
Felder has been doing color commentary duties for the UFC since 2017, a job he shares with Joe Rogan and fellow fighters like Cormier, Dan Hardy, Dominick Cruz, and Michael Bisping.