Alexander Volkanovski took to Twitter to show his appreciation to ‘The Irish Dragon’. He tweeted about Paul Felder being a ‘big dude’, stating that making 155-pounds would normally be ‘crazy’ for him. He then added that doing so on 5 days' notice is ‘just incredible’.
Alexander Volkanovski, in another tweet, also appreciated Felder for his moustache! Felder has mentioned that he has grown out his 'stache in dedication to pancreatic cancer awareness - a disease that claimed his father.
While Islam Makhachev was initially supposed to fight Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC Vegas 14, the Dagestani fighter had to pull out due to a staph infection. Incidentally, this fight was earlier scheduled for October at UFC 254. RDA, on that occasion, had to step away from the fight after testing positive for Covid-19.
After Makhachev’s withdrawal from the main event, RDA called out other lightweights to serve as a replacement including former Bellator champion and promotion newcomer Michael Chandler.
It was Felder, however, who answered the call-out, taking the fight on 5 days' notice.
While this will be RDA’s first lightweight fight since 2016, Felder will step inside the Octagon having suffered a split decision loss to fellow lightweight Dan Hooker in February earlier this year.
Dos Anjos would also see this fight as an opportunity to start his ascent back to the top of the lightweight mountain, where he once held the gold.
Alexander Volkanovski set to defend his title against Brian Ortega in 2021
While Alexander Volkanovski is enjoying the time with his family in Australia currently, his next title defense could be against Brian Ortega early in 2021.
Ortega made his return to the UFC after a near 2-year absence and won via unanimous decision after a dominant performance against Chan Sung Jung.
UFC President Dana White then confirmed that Ortega will indeed be Alexander Volkanovski’s next opponent.
The featherweight champion recently tweeted out his desire to fight in early 2021, perhaps wanting to spend the festive season with his family having last fought in July this year.
Ortega’s power striking combined with his world-class BJJ will be a stern test for the Aussie and the fight promises to be an intriguing affair.