Two big news struck UFC word today. The first is that Paul Felder stepped in to replace Islam Makhachev in the main event of this weekend’s UFC Fight Night against Rafael dos Anjos, and the second, that Amanda Nunes decided to withdraw from the UFC 256.
Felder Accepts the Mission Impossible
The 35-year old from Pennsylvania decided to replace Islam Makhachev even though he has just five days to get ready to face Rafael dos Anjos, who prepared for Saturday’s bout two months. His move is pretty rare in the UFC, mostly because fighters don’t like going out into the octagon unprepared against opponents who had a thorough training regime before the event.
After short thinking, Felder, who was mentioning retirement, eventually decided to accept the bout and go against all the odds.
Per UFC officials, none other than Paul Felder (@felderpaul) is stepping in on FIVE DAYS notice to fight Rafael dos Anjos. STILL a five round fight. STILL 155 pounds. Wow.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 9, 2020
The Irish Dragon, as the fans call Felder, was preparing for the upcoming triathlon, and his weight is pretty close to a lightweight limit. He does have to cut some 15 pounds, but is expecting to do that without any problems.
Right now, there are some suggestions that he and dos Anjos might even take a catchweight and move to the welterweight, but those are unconfirmed rumors.
Felder is 17-5 in the MMA and 9-5 in the UFC, losing his last bout against Dan Hooker vis split decision. It was a war in the octagon back in February, and that loss prevented him from posting the third straight win after beating Edson Barbosa and James Vick.
It will be interesting to see whether he has some surprises for the rival, who although is in better shape, prepared to meet a different fighter.
Nunes vs. Anderson Cancelled
The Lioness decided to withdraw from the UFC 256 and her title-defense against Megan Anderson. The bout was for the featherweight belt, and Nunes didn’t reveal the reasons for her decision.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 9, 2020
She and Anderson were supposed to meet in Las Vegas on November 12, and even though the UFC hasn’t officially confirmed this news, all the relevant sources suggest that there won’t be a title battle.
Many are guessing what the possible reasons for the Lioness’ to back out are. The majority of the experts assume that the COVID-19 situation in the States and Brazil could have something with it. Still, as previously said, there are no official statements regarding this case.