Paul Felder Lists The Fighters He Wants To Fight
After defeating Edson Barboza in their rematch at UFC 242, Paul Felder shot up the UFC lightweight rankings to number six. With the goal of moving up further and getting another step closer to challenging for the title, ‘The Irish Dragon’ has his sights set on one of the guys ahead of him in the rankings next. Although he won’t rule out fighting someone below him, if it makes sense.
Speaking to MMA Junkie at UFC 244 this past weekend, Felder discussed the current UFC lightweight scene and the return of the former champion, Conor McGregor.
“Conor coming back is kinda good. It’s very good stuff, but it’s mixing things up. Who’s he going to fight? Obviously ‘Cowboy’ [Cerrone] – they’re saying is the frontrunner for that. But Gaethje I know really wanted it. Poirier just had hip surgery, so he might be out until March. I know [Dan] Hooker’s looking for an opponent to go down there to New Zealand. But these are all things that interest me but for that fight. I would like that to be the main event if that was something that was going to come up.”
While he’s possibly open to taking on Hooker, who sits just one place below him in the rankings, in New Zealand, Felder ideally wants to face one of the guys ahead of him in the rankings.
“Obviously Poirier or Gaethje or Conor or any of these guys ranked above me – I’ll take any of them, as well. I’m kind of open for what [UFC matchmaker[ Sean [Shelby] has to suggest right now and we’ll sit back. [I’ll] kind of be up for a new contract soon, too – so a lot of things to talk about and get moving.
“For me, Justin Gaethje I think is a challenge. I think he’s one of the biggest challenges at lightweight right now. I think he’s as tough as they come. He’s knocking everybody out. Obviously I think Tony [Ferguson] is the same way – dude’s an absolute savage. But he’s got business to handle with Khabib [Nurmagomedov], and I think that fight needs to happen. So Gaethje, obviously because he’s ranked higher, puts me in a better position. Poirier is another one. But I’m not cancelling the idea of fighting below me as well, depending on what the matchup is.
“I don’t want to be one of those guys always fighting up, then complaining about those guys not wanting to fight down. It’s got to go both ways. So I’m taking everybody into consideration right now. We’ll see, but I’m trying to make that run to the top, man, because I’m not getting any younger.”
Who would you like to see Paul Felder fight next?