Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be very advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class. Known as the ‘fight before the fight,’ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters even in excess of 30 pounds.
Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower. Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight. In this series, we will shine a light on fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming match-ups. Basically, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game.
Brendan Allen and Sean Strickland’s 195lb catchweight bout has been omitted this week because it was a short notice fight for both men. (And Allen successfully weighed in for UFC Vegas 13 on November 6th before his fight was canceled at last second)
Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder (17-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC)
Lightweight (155lbs): 9-4 (UFC)
Welterweight (170lbs): 0-1 (UFC)
Paul Felder is saving the main event for UFC Vegas 14 and taking on Rafael dos Anjos. Felder will be facing a five-round bout against a former champ on five day’s notice. ‘The Irish Dragon’ last fought in a losing effort via split decision, against Dan Hooker that won the fight of the night honors and is in competition for Fight of the Year for 2020.
According to Felder’s interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on ESPN from November 9, Felder has been training for a triathlon since the last time he graced the octagon and is in very good shape.
The lightweight even said multiple times that he hovered around mid to high 190’s outside of training camp so it’s a good thing that he had been staying fit and training to compete outside of MMA. Though Felder would not disclose exactly what he weighs he did reveal that he weighed somewhere in the 170s during the interview. (Monday night approx 10 pm).
“I’m much leaner and lighter than I ever would normally be taking a fight on short notice”
Felder lost a split decision to Mike Perry at 170lbs in 2018 that ended up being his first and only fight in the division. This fight was a result of both Felder and Perry’s opponents pulling out of their scheduled bouts so both fighters and UFC brass pulled the new bout together. On the show with Helwani, Felder also added that he was 50/50 on retirement if he loses so hopefully, the weight cut goes smoothly.