What a 24 hours it has been for UFC Vegas 14. First, it was announced last night that Islam Makhachev was out of the main event. This is the second time that the proposed fight with Rafael Dos Anjos (29-13) had fallen through.
From there, the UFC began to work on a replacement for RDA. Dos Anjos called out Michael Chandler last night, however, Chandler said that he had other plans and wouldn’t be stepping in. The UFC never offered the fight to Chandler.
Well, per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the UFC has found their replacement for Makhachev. The Irish Dragon, Paul Felder (17-5) will be stepping in on short notice to face Dos Anjos in the main event of UFC Vegas 14.
The crazy thing to me is that the fight is still going to take place at lightweight despite the short notice. Another crazy thing is that apparently Felder has agreed to the fight remaining 25 minutes despite having no training camp. Tons of respect for the Irish Dragon.
Per UFC officials, none other than Paul Felder (@felderpaul) is stepping in on FIVE DAYS notice to fight Rafael dos Anjos. STILL a five round fight. STILL 155 pounds. Wow.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 9, 2020
UFC Vegas 14’s New Main Event
This is literally the best case scenario for the UFC. They are able to keep their main event together, and now, they actually have a higher ranked opponent for RDA. Sure the fight was supposed to showcase and test Makhachev, but who doesn’t want to see Felder back in there.
The last time we saw Felder compete was back in February. The Irish Dragon was in an absolute war with Dan Hooker. In Hooker’s home of Australia, Felder fought him to a brutal split decision. However, Felder showed just how good he was that night.
Felder will enter the cage as the seventh ranked lightweight in the world on Saturday night. It’s a completely different fight for Dos Anjos, but it should be a fantastic matchup in the lightweight division. Fight fans should be pumped that the UFC was able to pull this off.