Paul Felder isn’t expecting any trouble with Conor McGregor when they cross paths in Abu Dhabi.
Both an active lightweight and a UFC commentator, Paul Felder is due to sit opposite Conor McGregor in the customary pre-fight fighter meetings next week and he doesn’t expect there to be much hostility between the two despite the back-and-forths between them in recent months.
Felder, whose official nickname is ‘The Irish Dragon’, has been called out by McGregor for his heritage in a series of now-deleted tweets.
Felder issued a furious response after McGregor mocked him for suggesting he was Irish but he’s not anticipating any harsh words when McGregor speaks to him ahead of his return to the Octagon next weekend.
“I was talking to my producer because we have to do fighter meetings and hopefully we can get through that without any German comments,” Felder said on Thursday.
“My last name is German and I hate talking about this with people who aren’t American because I know I’m not Irish, I’m not German, I’m not Italian, I’m not Swedish! I’m American and I get that.
“I also did not give myself the ‘The Irish Dragon’ nickname and, as a matter of fact, I fought against it for the first few fights of my pro career because I hated it and I thought it was stupid. It got put together because I did karate and Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida was one of my favourite fighters and then this guy was like, ‘Well you’re Irish, how about The Irish Dragon?’ And then he started saying it on a YouTube video and the CCFC got hold of it when I was fighting for them so started calling me that for the one fight and it stuck.
“I’m not trying to claim any heritage. Obviously I’m of Irish descent if you take one look at me. You can also see the German in me with my better jawline.
“It’s silly and McGregor has poked fun at me on social media and then deletes them. I think he’s just fucking with me, to be honest. He’s like that.
“He’s not an idiot and he’ll poke at anybody in case you climb the rankings and you’re next.”
McGregor is set to fight Dustin Poirier on January 23 in a rematch of their 2014 meeting, which ended in a first-round knockout victory for ‘The Notorious’ and Felder will be on commentary duty for the bout.
— UFC (@ufc) January 13, 2021
Felder will meet with Poirier and McGregor ahead of the UFC 257 headliner but he isn’t expecting the heritage question to come up in his meeting with the Irishman.
“If I ever have to fight him then maybe I’d come out as ‘The German Dragon’ for that fight,” Felder joked.
“It’s all good and I don’t think that’s going to come up in the fighter meetings but we shall see.”