UFC lightweight and SuckerPunch athlete Paul Felder was originally scheduled to fight close to home at UFC 208 in Brooklyn against Gilbert Burns, but sadly that fight is off. An injury to Burns left Felder without an opponent, and now he has found a replacement bout on the card for UFC Fight Night in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Paul will now fight fellow CFFC veteran Alessandro Ricci at the Scotiabank Centre on February 19th. Despite the changes that have come up just one month away, Felder remains calm and confident. He is training in Milwaukee at Duke Roufos' highly acclaimed gym, and Felder says the change of scenery has been great for him.
"Things are going really well here. It’s the best possible situation for me. I’ve got a room in the back, enough food to eat right, and the team has been awesome. They’ve got some great kickboxing and jiu-jitsu coaches. Duke has just been breaking me down and making me better."
Felder is unfazed about his opponent change, and even thinks it could be a positive thing.
"When you’re at a good gym like I am, you are working on everything anyway. For me I am more of a striker, so I’m always working my standup. Obviously when I was scheduled to fight Burns I was focusing a lot of my grappling and strength training. My training partners were really trying to take me down. Now with the change to Ricci, maybe I'll get a little more creative on the feet and play around with my takedowns as opposed to working so hard to avoid them. I’m able to have more fun and I can get a little more offensive with my jiu-jitsu."
Felder's situation has turned out much better than others that have been in his shoes. Partly due to his new representation doing everything they can to avoid the dreaded situation of a fighter going through a camp all for naught.
“SuckerPunch Entertainment is thrilled that we managed to get another bout for Paul," said SuckerPunch Managing Partner Brian Butler-Au." No fighter wants to put in the hard work, make the sacrifices that he has, and go without fighting. Despite the stylistic matchup change, we are confident that Paul and his new team at Roufosport will be prepared for victory at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax."
You can catch Paul Felder vs. Alessandro Ricci at UFC Fight Night 105 on February 19th, live on FS1.