Diego Ferreira is eager to compete, and he’s eyeing a matchup with Paul Felder next.
Ferreira (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC), who’s on an impressive six-fight winning streak, is tired of waiting in the wings and is keen to keep pushing forward in the UFC’s talent-rich lightweight division.
The Brazilian is coming off a “Performance of the Night” submission of Anthony Pettis in January at UFC 246, where he became the first man to submit “Showtime.”
Ferreira was then expected to face Drew Dober on May 2, but the event was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, and the fight fell through. His gym was forced to shut down during the pandemic, and tight restrictions in Texas put a strain on Ferreira’s personal life during a time when he’s attempting to build his family a new home.
With the UFC events back in full motion, Ferreira is happy to have his fight with Dober rebooked. But ideally he’s hoping to get a crack at Felder, whom he says doesn’t want to fight.
“I’m interested to fight. I just don’t like to be hanging for too long,” Ferreira told MMA Junkie. “For me, I like to be busy, and Dober’s been doing real good, like myself, and I think the fans want to see that, too. But at first I really wanted to fight with Paul Felder or Al Iaquinta. It’s not because I want to move up in the rankings. I think it makes sense more in the fight. But if Dober wants to fight, I’m down to fight.
“I’d like to fight Paul Felder. I think he’s trying to avoid me. I think he tries to make it seem like he doesn’t know me, but he knows me. I’m not disrespecting him at all. I just want to fight him and get the spot I deserve, and I want to see how far I can go. I think that’s the fight that really makes sense for me. But if it doesn’t happen, I’m ready to fight anybody. I just don’t like to stay in a corner for too long.”
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Felder (17-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC) explained that he’s currently “benched” and is waiting for a fight that excites him. Which means Ferreira likely will have to wait for a while to get his wish, but he’s not holding his breath.
“If I cannot get an answer from the UFC to fight Paul Felder, I don’t care,” Ferreira said. “I’m in to fight anybody – that’s what I say. It’s not about disrespecting nobody; it’s because I want to fight. I want to keep motivating myself and climbing the rankings.
“Paul Felder or Drew Dober. One of those, I’m stepping in. Doesn’t matter what time. … I just want to get a fight as soon as I can.”