Paul Felder's plan for UFC Boise foe James Vick: Keep pressure, put him out, then take his spot

Paul Felder has heard this one before: With the other, less physically grueling possibilities hes got outside the cage, why does he stick with the one that involves face-punching?
To that, he has a straightforward answer.
I could have also got a desk job somewhere, Felder told MMAjunkie in Chicago, where he fulfilled guest fighter duties for this past Saturdays UFC 225. Or go to work for SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), the public transportation department in (Philadelphia). I could have done that, too, but I didnt.
“I chose to get punched in the face and kicked for next to nothing for years so I could be where Im at right now.Where Felder (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC)is, right now, is on a three-fight winning streak in the UFCs competitive 155-pound division. Hes also filling the 15th spot of USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, with a co-headliner scheduled against No. 10 ranked fighter James Vick (13-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC).Things haven’t been looking too bad outside the octagon, either. Not only has Felder, whos also dabbed in acting in the past, been booking gigs as a color commentator for the UFC hes been getting some praise for that, as well. Hes even snagged a nomination for Analyst of the Year in the 10th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards.
Still, at 33, Felder sees himself as one thing first: a fighter. And a scrappy as hell one, at that. Even if its one who happens to have gotten a chance to do some work in the commentary booth.
Zach Candito (UFC’s coordinating producer) and all those guys, they know that, Felder said. They know Im making my run right now that I want to make a shot toward the top-5 and the belt. And then, when I’m a little older, and Im banged up too much and I dont want my daughter to see me coming home beat up anymore, then Ill focus on being a full-time analyst and try to get back to the acting scene and all that stuff. But right now, Im too damn close to what Ive dreamt of and set out to do to be like, Well, Ive got some color commentary work now, I can do that.'”
So its on to the more immediate plans and they start on July 14, when Felder meets Vick in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 133. The event takes place at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho, and is expected to air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full bout order and fight card havent been finalized.While Felder is not in too shabby of a spot, having earned bonuses in two of his most recent wins and landed himself at No. 14 in the UFC’s official rankings, he knew No. 11 Vick would be bummed out with the matchup. After all, it’s not secret that the ever-vocal Vick, fresh off a win over Francisco Trinaldo,has been aiming higher.But Vicks also complained of his fellow lightweights turning down fights with him. Felder, in turn, is not one to dodge anyone. Vick, he says, was the first name that came to him from UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby. Thus, Felder was the one who said yes.
Felder now has what he sees as a big fight literally, taking Vicks height into account. But, while Felder acknowledges Vicks physical and technical merits, he also sees ways around them.
I think hes got really good submissions, especially his DArce and guillotine, Felder analyzed. Hes got long arms and knows how to use them in the grappling department, but a lot of guys shoot on him and try to take him down, which opens you up. When you fight tall guys or even long guys who are good at subs like that, you cant shoot sloppy. Youve got to be perfect on your shot, or theyre going to wrap your neck up and choke you out.
Luckily, thats not I dont think its giving away any of the gameplan. People probably dont think Im going to be shooting sloppy double legs unless Im rocked. But hes got a good uppercut. He uses his length. Hes been throwing a lot of wacky kicks and stuff like that, which I hope he does. I hope he tries to kick and play the range game. I think that puts him right in my wheel house.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. After all, Vick has met 10 opponents in the octagon before, including battle-tested men like Trinaldo and Joe Duffy, and, despite their best efforts, only one has been able to stop him.That was Beneil Dariush, who knocked Vick out in the first round of their UFC 199 meeting back in 2016.
As far as blueprints go, though, that’ll do for Felder.
The last time he fought another opponent that was ranked and on his level, he got knocked out, Felder said. Thats what were trying to repeat. Were trying to keep the pressure on him and put him out. And I think if I can put out a guy like James Vick, on the tear that hes on, I think I take his spot on the rankings right away.
I think I go right from No. 14 to No. 11 and he gets bumped down. I know he wants to make a run for the title, himself, too, and were going to find out whos moving in July 14.
To hear more from Felder, check out the video above.And for more onUFC Fight Night 133, check out theUFC Rumorssection of the site.















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