UFC lightweight Paul ‘The Irish Dragon’ Felder wants to replace the injured Benson Henderson and fight Michael Johnson at the up coming”TUF Finale” in Las Vegas, July 12.
— Paul Felder (@felderpaul) May 28, 2015
The standout lightweight spoke with TalkingBrawlsMMA to confirm his desire to fight on the July card.
The unbeaten lightweight is determined to get a fight with Johnson after being forced out of a scheduled bout against Jim Miller, penciled for last April’s “UFC ON FOX 15” fight card.
“Going into that fight I had a really, really, really tiny tear in my meniscus. We were going hard for the Miller fight. I threw a really hard leg kick on the pads with coach Henry. It didn’t work out, it snapped all out. The doctors told me it was the only thing that could have gone wrong for my knee, unfortunately it did.”
Felder’s knee is back to full capacity and he’s training with a full bill of health.
“I’m back to 100% training, the whole nine. I’m kicking, squatting, wrestling and doing Jiu-jitsu. I’ve been cleared for a while now but we wanted to be safe and make sure I’ve completed all my physical therapy on time and had clearance, but it’s back to 100%. I feel great.”
The ‘Irish Dragon’ is very keen to get back in the octagon. The BMF fighter is coming off a performance of the night bonus, including a second round spinning back fist finish over UFC veteran Danny Castillo.
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“He’s a top ten guy, he’s a scrappy guy and a huge name. It ‘s a great fight for me. Stylistically we make for one hell of a fight. It’s fight of the night material right there. I know I’m a dangerous fight for him. He’s looking to crawl his way up to a title shot. So, if he’s willing to scrap with an up-and-comer, I’m more than willing to step in. “
Felder has nothing personal against Michael Johnson, but is irritated the Blackzillian fighter has called out Donald Cerrone, his BMF training partner; claiming Johnson knows Cerrone is next in line for a lightweight title shot.
“I don’t know the guy personally. He seems a little cocky. He’s going after Donald Cerrone and trying to call him out, even though he’s got a title shot. If he can’t get Cowboy, I’d love to give him the same style. Let’s see how he matches up against me, I’m hungry and looking for a fight ”
The Philadelphia native confirmed he’s talked to Joe Silva about a potential fight.
“I talked to Joe and obviously Michael is trying to get a big name. He wants to fight someone who’s going to move him up the ladder, just like I want to fight guys like him, to move me up the ladder. Sometimes it’s tough to get a top ten guy on short notice. I’m willing to go, let’s see.”
The “TUF finale” comes one day after “UFC 189” and the ‘Irish Dragon’ believes the fight would add more Irish-American pride to the weekend
“It would be fun to watch Conor throw down at 189. It would give me motivation, maybe I’d learn a little thrash talk. He amazes me, every time I watch a new video of him. I’d love to fight that same weekend because I think I’d add a little Irish-American pride, along with his authentic style. Coast to coast, really. So, if Michael Johnson wants to make fight of the night. I’m the guy for him, let’s throw down“
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