With Islam Makhachev withdrawing from his scheduled fight with Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 182 less than a week before the event, it was unclear whether the UFC could find a replacement for Dos Anjos on such short notice.
As it turns out, we could not have asked for a better replacement.
The savior of the main event of this card is none other than Paul Felder. “The Irish Dragon” mulled retirement following his split decision loss to Dan Hooker earlier this year, and has since been working as a commentator at various UFC broadcasts.
Makhachev, who was originally slated to fight Dos Anjos, withdrew from the fight due to a staph infection. This is the second time that Dos Anjos vs. Makhachev has been cancelled. The two were originally scheduled to fight on the undercard of Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje at UFC 254, but Dos Anjos tested positive for COVID-19.
This will be Dos Anjos’ first fight at 155lbs since losing to Tony Ferguson back in 2016. The former lightweight champion has since only fought at welterweight, with mixed results; having had a 4-4 record overall and losing four of his last five fights.
The Brazilian expressed his gratitude to Felder for taking the fight on extremely short notice, tweeting out: “We need more fighters like you.”