Paul Felder was close to retiring earlier this year, not hanging his gloves off completely, but said he would only pick up fights that he found interesting. Some of the fights are as interesting as stepping out against a former lightweight champion in a five-day announcement for a card title. UFC President Dana White revealed on Monday Felder will do just that when he faces Rafael Dos Anjos on UFC Fight Night inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas this Saturday night.
Dos Anjos was scheduled to face Islam McCaw at the main event originally scheduled, which had already been postponed from the previous October 24, forcing Dos Anjos to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test. Makhachev was ruled out with a new date due to injuries and the UFC was looking for a replacement late.
Not only will Felder advance to a big time fight, the match will still be competitive at 155 pounds, with five rounds to go. In February, Felder lost a competitive split against Don Hooker in one of the best fights of 2020. It was only after that fight that he suggested that he could compete actively, and then he shifted his focus only enough to clarify the fights.
Dos Anjos is 1-4 in his most recent five fights, although the losses have come from elite resistance. The win against Felder was a great moment to get his life back on track as he tried to fight back towards a shot at the lightweight championship he held from March 2015 to July 2016.