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Paul Felder steps in vs. Rafael dos Anjos in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 182 headliner

Paul Felder will fight Rafael dos Anjos on just five days’ notice, Saturday in the new UFC Fight Night 182 headliner.

After Islam Makhachev fell off the card due to staph infection, the UFC hustled and has gotten Felder (17-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC) to step in vs. dos Anjos (30-13 MMA, 18-11 UFC) in the new lightweight main event.

MMA Junkie verified the news with a person close to the situation following an initial report from UFC broadcast partner ESPN on Monday.

Felder hasn’t competed since a split decision loss to Dan Hooker at UFC on ESPN+ 26 in February. “The Irish Dragon” has publicly contemplated retirement in the months since, stating he would only come back for a high-profile bout. Now, he’s found one.

Dos Anjos, meanwhile, returns to lightweight for the first time since a November 2016 loss to Tony Ferguson. The Brazilian lightweight fighter started out his welterweight tenure at 3-0 but has since dropped four of his past five. His lone win in that stretch came over Kevin Lee. Dos Anjos will return to his original weight class, where he hasn’t won since December 2015.

The latest UFC Fight Night 182 lineup now includes:

  • Paul Felder vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Khaos Williams
  • Julian Marquez vs. Saparbek Safarov
  • Eryk Anders vs. Antonio Arroyo
  • Daniel Rodriguez vs. opponent TBA
  • Kay Hansen vs. Cory McKenna
  • Miranda Granger vs. Ashley Yoder
  • Alex Morono vs. Rhys McKee
  • Louis Smolka vs. Jose Quinonez
  • Randa Markos vs. Kanako Murata
  • Geraldo de Freitas vs. Tony Gravely
  • Don’Tale Mayes vs. Roque Martinez
  • Brendan Allen vs. Sean Strickland
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