Paul Felder will be headlining this weekend's UFC offering against former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos after stepping up on five days' notice to replace Islam Makhachev, who pulled out after getting a staph infection.
In the video, Paul Felder spoke about how his father Tom - who died of pancreatic cancer back in 2017 - never got to see him at the peak of his success. Paul Felder's father passed away right before his training camp for the Stevie Ray fight.
"He passed away right when I took off, you know? So he didn’t get to see me in main events. He didn’t get to see me as a commentator the way I was, because it all happened right after, literally right after the Stevie Ray fight is when I got to do [Dana White’s] Contender Series, and then I got to do color commentary," Felder explained.
Paul Felder could hardly hold his tears back as he recalled how his father would share videos of his fights on social media.
"He didn’t see this, and I think he would tell me to retire, honestly, which is the funny part because he got so freakin’ nervous whenever I fought, even worse than my mom probably. But, he would say that to me, and he would be at work the next day, and all I ever heard from anybody he worked with, that all he talked about and showed them was like fight stuff, and there’s some Facebook videos of him watching it again on the computer and recording it and posting it to Facebook for people that didn’t see the fight."
More than just his main event fight with dos Anjos, Paul Felder is using his platform to promote an even bigger and more important fight: the fight against cancer.
"This fight to find more cures and treatments for cancer is so important because if things keep going the way they’re going, we’re all going to be suffering from this, whether it’s you, your mom, your dad, your kids, it’s getting ridiculous with the amount of people catching cancer and not being able to beat it," Felder stated.
"We’ve got to get on top of it, there’s gotta be better research, there’s gotta be more funding, because people are dying horrible deaths because of this stuff. It’s not like you’re just passing away in your sleep, man. I got to see, I know what it looks like, I know what it does to the body. I’ve seen it on too many people now, my Aunt Claire as well, died of lung cancer, so, for me, it’s just riddled family," he continued.
Felder added that his current choice of facial hair is a tribute of sorts to his late father.
"It’s November, and Movember, that’s more of a men’s health awareness, but I’m kinda rocking it A: as a throwback to my father when I was a little kid. He always had a mustache, in the 80’s and the 90’s, he just rocked a ‘stache. There’s a really good picture of me and him, when I’m a really little kid in my catholic school uniform, and he’s in his work uniform, and I feel like I look like him when I have this ‘stache."
Paul Felder Says He Has Enough Left for a Title Run
Prior to stepping up on short notice to face Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC Vegas 14 this weekend, Paul Felder was considered as 'semi-retired'.
Back in February, Paul Felder dropped a close split decision loss to Dan Hooker, and sort-of retired during the post-fight interview. He later on clarified that he wasn't retired but rather would be more selective of his fights.
Currently the number 7-ranked contender in the lightweight division, Paul Felder now has a chance to move a couple of notches higher on that list with a win over dos Anjos.
Given the current situation of the lightweight division, now is the perfect time for Paul Felder to make a push for that top-5 spot, and he himself believes that he has a little bit left for a run at UFC gold.
"It's been, it’s been good stuff, it’s been success. There have been losses, but they’ve all been wars and battles, and I’m not ready to be done with that yet," Paul Felder said.
"I feel like, with the training that I’ve found now, it’s keeping my body fit, I’m able to stay healthy, eat, and be in shape year-round, so if I can do what I know I can do, I think there’s a run left in me for that title," he continued.
Watch the whole video below:Published 14 Nov 2020, 03:52 IST