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Paul Felder has carved out a niche as a reliable action fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight division.
“The Irish Dragon” will meet The Ultimate Fighter Season 15 semifinalist James Vick in the UFC on ESPN 1 co-main event on Sunday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, where he has the opportunity to climb another rung on the 155-pound ladder. Felder has won three of his last four bouts but finds himself on the rebound following a unanimous decision loss to Mike Perry at UFC 226 in July. The Philadelphia native has compiled a 7-4 record since joining the UFC roster in 2014.
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As Felder approaches his showdown with Vick, here are five things you should know about him:
1. He started in martial arts as a pre-teen.
Felder holds the rank of black belt in taekwondo, having started his formal training at age 12. He competed in the discipline at the Junior Olympics.
2. He prefers to do his business with strikes.
Felder, who made his professional mixed martial arts debut on Dec. 10, 2011, has delivered 10 of his 15 career victories by knockout or technical knockout. His list of victims includes Danny Castillo, Steven Ray, and Charles Oliveira.
3. He has other tools in his bag.
Felder has one submission win to his credit. He tapped Daron Cruickshank with a rear-naked choke at UFC Fight Night 81 in January 2016.
4. He excelled on the regional MMA scene.
Felder is one of 10 men who have held the Cage Fury Fighting Championships lightweight title. Al Buck, Jim Miller, Deividas Taurosevicius, John Cholish, Charlie Brenneman, Nathan Vantassel, Darrell Horcher, Mike Pope and Joseph Lowry are the others.
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5. Only quality fighters have cracked his code.
The four fighters to which Felder has lost—Perry, Francisco Trinaldo, Ross Pearson and Edson Barboza—have combined for 75 wins between them. Only Trinaldo managed to finish “The Irish Dragon,” forcing a third-round doctor stoppage against him at UFC Fight Night 95 in September 2016.