Paul Felder returns to the Octagon Sunday night against Josh Burkman in Las Vegas at UFC Fight Night 88, in what is sure to be ‘one’ of many potential FOTN contenders.
The fiery lightweight has switched up his training camp and headed close by to New Jersey to link up with standout striking coach, Mark Henry. He has also spent time sparring in Nick Catone’s gym.
Felder’s hometown team is Renzo Gracie Philadelphia, where he trains under his BJJ coach, Daniel Gracie (Who is currently away in Boston).
The “Irish Dragon” previously trained in Donald Cerrones’ BMF ranch in New Mexico, with whom he is still very good friends, but believes training with Ricardo Almeida’s stable is more beneficial from a personal, logistical and stylistic basis.
— Daniel Ikemen Gracie (@DanielGracie) May 17, 2016
“I’ve had a few people think I don’t train or I’m not friends with Cowboy anymore, that’s completely not the case. Sometimes it makes sense for me to go out there, and it’s convenient. It’s even more convenient for me to go out there on my down time, as opposed to when I’m in camp. Our lifestyles are different, he knows that, I know that. I’m a mental head case and I have to be on a schedule and train 3-times-a-day. He likes to go to the lake and take his weekend off. It’s all how you approach training, and neither way is wrong. I’ll probably go out there after this fight, hang out with him and train. It’s more fun and beneficial for me to do that, then it is for me to spend time away from my family eight weeks. My daughter is one now, she’s getting old enough to know if I’m not there or if I’m there.”
2016 started off on a high for Paul Felder after a difficult 2015. The Philadelphia based fighter suffered his first loss, and back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, against Edson Barbosa (Who is now a sparring partner of Felder) and Ross Pearson, but he bounced back with a submission victory against Darron Cruickshank at UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz in January.
Felder is hoping that trend will continue in 2016 under the tutelage of coach Mark Henry. Henry is boxing coach for the likes of Frankie Edgar, Edson Barbosa, Eddie Alvarez and Corey Anderson, to name a few. Felder spoke of his admiration for Henry.
“He’s a genius. The guy is obsessed with winning and with making these guys better fighters. He really is intelligent, and knows the game every which way, from takedowns, kickboxing to boxing. Moving forward I’m hoping I can eventually have him on board even more than he was for this fight. Obviously he’s helps me when he can, when I’m working with him and he’s watches me spar everybody.”
Felder hopes that the two can work together after Sunday’s fight, but the “Dragon” isn’t sure what will happen in the future because of the large stable of fighters Henry coaches.
“Moving forward I’d like to get him involved even more in the corner, but he’s got so many guys like Frankie, Edson, Eddie and he was working with Chris Weidman. He won’t be with me for this fight in vegas, but he was there everyday when I was sparring. It’s just the little bits of advice after every round, filming me spar and stuff. I learned so much from that guy in the last ten weeks I’ve been working with him. More people should be seeking this guy out. He’s Incredible.”
You can listen to the full interview on #106 Talking Brawl MMA podcast below.
Jorden Curran joins Niall McGrath on this weeks show to discuss a number of Issues.
We talk UFC Heavyweight division, Michael Bisping, IMMAA & preview UFC fight Night 88.
Niall also welcomes Jessica Eye back on the show as she faces Sarah McMann this weekend. Paul Felder also stops by to talk about changing fight camps as he prepares for Josh Burkman this weekend at UFC Fight Night 88.
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