UFC lightweight Paul Felder’s most recent octagon outings involved trips to Brazil, Canada and Scotland. They also involved, respectively, meeting a Brazilian, a Canadian and a Scotsman.
With that in mind, one can see where Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is coming from with this simple request for his next fight.
“I would like to fight in the United States, and there are quite a few cards coming up,” Felder told MMAjunkie Radio. “These Japan cards and all – they’re a little soon. As cool as that would be – I’d go there as a guest fighter. But right now I want to fight on my own country.”
In fairness, Felder should have a few goodwill chips stored with the promotion at this point. Not only is he coming off big back-to-back wins – both involving first-round elbow brutality – but he’s also proven to be valuable outside of the cage, with his current role as an analyst for Dana White’s Contender Series.
Fresh off his “Performance of the Night” knockout of Stevie Ray at last month’s UFC Fight Night 113 event, Felder said he’s healthy and somewhat ready to go. The only thing, he says, is the weight – which the lightweight estimates currently sits at around 190 pounds.
With that in mind, he’s eyeing a return between October and December – though, in his typical company man fashion, he could find a way to be ready before should an opportunity arise. And he’s not even making too many demands when it comes to that.
“I’d love a top-15 guy, but I’m not pushing that so much as I just want another exciting fight and another win,” Felder said. “I’m nearing the end of this contract, so a good win puts me in good standing with the UFC to get another big contract coming out and keep going.”
As far as those possible opponents go, Felder is not going around issuing callouts. Mostly, he’s interested in fighters who, like him, have a penchant for exciting striking battles. While he would love to acquiesce to some fan requests, like a meeting with lightweight contender Kevin Lee, he’s also realistic.
“Knowing rankings – I’m not even in the top 15 yet to be getting a shot with a guy like Lee would be – I’d take it, but it would be crazy,” Felder said.
He does have one stylistic dream fight, though. And, should it somehow materialize at UFC 217, set for Nov. 4 in New York City, “The Irish Dragon” probably wouldn’t be mad.
“That fight alone is a fight that I would love to have, with (Al Iaquinta),” Felder said. “Most of the time, any time I’m matched up people are like, ‘This going to be fight of the night.’
“Can you imagine if me and him got matched up at Madison Square Garden? Listen up, UFC. Let’s do it.”
Another scenario that Felder is very comfortable with is UFC 218, which takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. That would fit well within his desire to get a fight near his Philadelphia home grounds.
But ultimately, when it comes to Felder, it seems like there’s very little that can’t be negotiated.
“If they gave me like a co-main event, main event overseas, I’m all about it,” Felder said. “I want to be kind of putting my name out there and taking these big spots. I’ll take a main event. I’d love a five-round fight with somebody. I don’t care if it’s literally in their kitchen. I’ll take it. I want to fight five rounds for the UFC before I retire.”
To hear more from Felder, check out the video above.
And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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