Paul Felder squares up against Edson Barboza.Who wins this fight?
<p>NEXT STOP: Abu Dhabi. The Ultimate Fighting Championship flies to the United Arab Emirates Saturday afternoon at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi for UFC: 242. The fight card is not PPV worthy aside from the main event, but nonetheless there will be opportunities for us to bank units. The co-main event features a rematch of top ten lightweights, when Paul Felder squares up against Edson Barboza. In their first fight Barboza squeaked out a decision victory in a closely contested war. 2015 was four years ago and both men have progressed as mixed martial artists. Now in current form, can Paul Felder avenge the loss he suffered in 2015 or can Edson Barboza vindicate the earlier win. With a win here, one man will rise in the rankings getting them one step closer to a lightweight championship title fight. Which man takes that step on Saturday afternoon? You ready? Let’s get after it.</p><div><h2><strong>EDSON BARBOZA (20-7) vs PAUL FELDER (16-4)</strong></h2><div style="text-align:center"><strong><img alt src="https://ms.sbrfeeds.com/redirect-proxy/redirect/?url=http://media.ufc.tv/generated_images_sorted/NewsArticle/E/Edson-Barboza-Family-First/Edson-Barboza-Family-First_522752_OpenGraphImage.png" style="width:700px;height:364px" /></strong></div><p style="text-align:center"><b>Edson Barboza</b></p><p>Edson Barboza comes into Saturday’s Main Event ranked the #7 Lightweight fighter in the world despite the fact he has dropped three of his last four fights. Barboza is one of the better strikers the UFC has produced in the last two decades, especially his leg strikes. His legs are literally legendary in the sport of MMA. It is his calling card. His plan every fight is to chop you down like a tree until you are immobilized. In the first fight with Paul Felder he won a razor thin decision, giving Felder his first loss in the UFC. I would assume he goes in with the same game plan that worked in their first fight. Will that plan be good enough to do it a second time? Below is a look at Edson Barboza, by the numbers.</p><p><strong><u>― STATS ―</u></strong></p><p>•<strong>Method of Victory •Significant Strikes </strong>(per/min)<strong> •Takedowns </strong></p><p>▪12 wins by TKO ▪ 4.01 Landed ▪ 46.67% Accuracy</p><p>▪7 wins by Decision ▪ 4.18 Absorbed ▪ 80.26% Defended</p><p>▪1 win by Submission</p><p><strong><u>― PROS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Striking</strong> (The best leg kicks in MMA today, possibly of all-time. Crippling leg power and accuracy which was a big reason he was 25-3 as a professional kick boxer.)</p><p>• <strong>Speed </strong>(Great muscle twitch reaction, excellent hand / leg speed and quickly cuts angles in exchanges to stay at range.)</p><p>• <strong>Takedown Defense/Sprawl </strong>(It’s very hard to get Barboza to the ground. His 80% takedown defense is mostly due to him picking opponents apart from the outside, so he sees takedown attempts from a mile away.)</p><p><strong><u>― CONS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Pressure </strong>(His entire game falls apart when Barboza deals with relentless pressure. It is his kryptonite.)</p><p>• <strong>Chin </strong>(Most of Barboza’s ‘cons’ stem from situations when he is pressured. He has been dropped multiple times in fights, his chin tends to hold up more when he sets the mid-range pace he likes.)</p><p>• <strong>Fatigue </strong>(Again, if Barboza is pressured and is unable to set the pace, he has major adrenaline dumps during scrambles, exchanges and defending pressure takedowns.)</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://www.mikeswick.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Paul-Felder.jpg" style="width:700px;height:467px" /><br /><b>Paul Felder</b></p><p>The fighting pride of Philadelphia compiled an amateur MMA record of 3-1before going pro. In 2011 he began fighting on the regional scene for Cage Fury Fighting. With an 8-0 record the UFC came calling and signed Felder to a multi fight contract. In his first UFC fight he won a split decision victory over Jason Saggo. Oddly enough with a 2-0 record in the UFC he fought Edson Barboza and suffered his first loss. Since his UFC debut, he has won 8 of 12 fights and Saturday will look to avenge that first UFC loss he suffered against Barboza. Can Felder get the job done this time? Below is a look at Paul Felder, by the numbers.</p><p><strong><u>― STATS ―</u></strong></p><p>•<strong>Method of Victory •Significant Strikes </strong>(per/min)<strong> •Takedowns </strong></p><p>▪10 wins by TKO ▪ 3.53 Landed ▪ 33.33% Accuracy</p><p>▪5 wins by Decision ▪3.08 Absorbed ▪ 59.09% Defended</p><p>▪1 win by Submission</p><p><strong><u>― PROS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Power </strong>(If there are three people in the Lightweight division that hit harder than Felder I would be surprised. He has really solid power for the division.)</p><p>• <strong>Chin </strong>(Paul Felder can absorb A LOT of damage before he gets in trouble when he fights. It serves him well in fights and tis one should be no different.)</p><p>• <strong>Clinch Strikes </strong>(When Paul Felder gets inside, he is capable of vicious striking, in particular his elbows are savage. His striking is probably at it’s best in general when he is fighting in a phone booth.)</p><p>• <strong>Wrestle/Grappler </strong>(You wouldn’t think it by his numbers, but he really isn’t a bad wrestler. His top control when he gets you down is solid, and he is capable of submitting or smashing his opponents on the mat.)</p><p><strong><u>― CONS ―</u></strong></p><p>•<strong> Technique</strong> (Felder is not the most technical striker, but he really doesn’t need to be. His power makes up for whatever he lacks in technique.)</p><p>• <strong>Complacency</strong> (The one knock I really have on Paul Felder is this, sometimes he gets lulled to sleep by fighting at his opponents’ pace. To win this find he needs to not be content with staying at range. He has to get inside or Barboza is completely capable of picking him off at range all night long.)</p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=168&a=4417b7df-a48f-47f3-9b45-f79858bc083a&f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d582dcf927b95968483da5f/original-10-bet-new-customer-welcome-bonus" style="width:100%" /></a></p><h2 style="text-align:center"><strong>THE VERDICT</strong></h2><p><strong>So, who wins this fight? The first fight between these two men was very close. I would have given it to Barboza, so I think it was correctly scored, but it was close. I believe that Felder has progressed much more as a fighter since 2015 than Barboza has. Paul Felder is less complacent than he was 4 years ago. He initiates offensive exchanges more now than he did in 2015, and he knows his strength is in the clinch down. He is capable of taking Barboza down and winning it on the ground if he has to, and more than capable of hitting the button once and dropping Barboza with the power he has as well. I think there are more avenues to victory for Felder and he comes into Saturday looking as good as he has during any point of his UFC career. Give me the dog here.</strong></p><p><b>Best Bet:</b></p><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="UFC Betting Odds"><em><strong>Paul Felder to win at 13/10 (2.30) with Bet365</strong></em></a></p></div>