33-Year-Old UFC Lightweight 14-3-0
July 16, 2017 Paul Felder News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Felder defeated Stevie Ray via TKO (elbows) at 3:57 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland
Felder was simply too much for Ray in this fight. Ray tried to control the tempo by pressing Felder into the cage. It worked for a few moments. Felder remained calm in the position. He eventually positioned himself for a knee. It hard with bad intentions and dropped Ray. The Scottish fighter appeared to be out for a second, but he continued to fight. Felder landed several elbows that finished the fight. "The Irish Dragon" has now picked up back-to-back first-round knockout after previously defeating Alex Ricci in February. The victory also earned Felder a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
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Fantasy AnalysisFelder posts a 13-3 mark in MMA and is 5-3 in the UFC with a history of exciting fights, while Ray (21-6) has 14 stoppages in his fights and is 5-1 in the UFC, and is riding back-to-back victories into the bout with Felder. No main event has been announced on the card.
Fantasy AnalysisThis fight was all Felder from the start. He was landing the harder shots throughout the first round. Late in the third round, he landed a very hard step in elbow that really hurt Ricci. Ricci dropped backwards into the cage. Felder continued to throw punches until the referee stopped the fight. "The Irish Dragon" got back on the winning track after dropping his last bout to Francisco Trinaldo.
Fantasy AnalysisFelder enters the fight with an overall record of 12-3, although he lost his most recent bout against Francisco Trinaldo during UFC Fight Night 95 due to a doctor stoppage. His upcoming opponent, Burns, will likely be looking to take Felder to the mat early and often, since three of Burns' four UFC wins to date have come from tap outs.
Fantasy AnalysisA cage-side physician is seemingly always going to err on the the side of caution, but the cut above Felder's right eyebrow was a gaping wound and the right decision was made here. The Irish Dragon is as tough as they come, but for a fighter who is primarily a kickboxer, Felder gets hit far too often. His style of fighting doesn't involve much movement on the feet and as a result, he struggles to get his head off the center line. He's always going land more than his fair share of shots, but if he keeps getting hit more than he lands, it's not going to matter in most instances. Felder has now lost three of his last five fights. That's not going to get the job done in the UFC's talent-stacked 155-pound division.
Fantasy AnalysisFelder was reeling following back-to-back losses to Edson Barboza and Ross Pearson in the middle of last year, but he is back on the winning track having won two fights in a row. Felder's aggressive style has made him a fan favorite, but he has struggled when tasked with facing better competition. You can't just continue to push forward and attempt to land aimless strikes if you're facing a talented opponent. The depth in the UFC's lightweight division is insane, so this was a fight that Felder had to have. He loves to stay active so it would be a surprise if we don't see him against before the year is over.
Fantasy AnalysisFelder very well could have lost the first two rounds, so a finish was likely necessary if he was going to come out on top in this one. He took several devastating side kicks early in the bout, but displayed an impressive chin by continuing to push forward. Felder had an opportunity for a guillotine in Round 1 and a triangle in Round 2, but neither was tight enough to last. His third-round submission was the first submission victory of his professional career, and ends a two-fight losing streak.
Fantasy AnalysisFelder was hoping to fight in front of Boston's large Irish population and he is going to get his wish. Felder had been undefeated, but he has lost back to back fights against Ross Pearson and Edson Barboza. One of the better strikers and more entertaining fighters in the lightweight division, Felder still projects to be a pretty heavy favorite over Cruickshank.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter going undefeated in his first ten professional fights, Felder has now lost twice in less than six weeks. Felder by no means looked terrible, he landed a ton of big knees and he controlled the center of the octagon, but Pearson seemed to do more damage later in the fight and that likely cost Felder. Felder is a terrific striker and he displays great head movement, but he is limited athletically and that is going to continue to work against him against better fighters.
Fantasy AnalysisFelder fought just two weeks ago, dropping a unanimous decision to Edson Barboza in Chicago. It was his first professional loss. The short turnaround is a bit of a concern after such a physical fight, but Felder is a better fighter at this point in his career than Pearson. He should have a good chance to get back in the win column next month in Vegas.
Fantasy AnalysisIn what was by far the biggest test of his career, Felder proved that he could hang with one of the better fighters in the world. He has an extremely unique striking style and his ability to land shots from all angles is a major weapon. Felder's biggest issue on Saturday was that he ate far too many leg kicks to the body. His stomach had turned an awkward shade of purple by the time the bout was over. It's going to go down as a loss in the record books for Felder, but he impressed and earned a ton of new fans with the effort.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter winning his first 10 professional MMA fights, Felder finally gets a talented opponent. His first two fights in the UFC were against Danny Castillo and Jason Saggo, neither of whom are anywhere near the level of Barboza. We should get a much better idea in regards to Felder's future potential after Saturday. We will finally be able to tell if his long winning was simply the result of facing inferior competition.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's a major step up in competition for Felder on short notice, but he deserves it. He is undefeated and is coming off a very impressive TKO win over Danny Castillo back at UFC 182 in January.