Paul Felder was propelled into a unique storyline heading into June’s UFC on ESPN 12 main event between Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker.
Ahead of the fight, it was noted by Twitter user @UFC_Sasuke that every person who has beaten Felder (17-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC) in MMA competition has gone on to lose their next fight. Hooker, of course, was coming off a unanimous decision win over “The Irish Dragon” in February, which set him up for the clash with Poirier.
Poirier went on to beat Hooker by unanimous decision in a “Fight of the Year” candidate, and the curse continued.
“It’s crazy bro,” Felder told MMA Junkie. “You can’t make this (expletive) up sometimes. I saw this guy. I can’t think of his Twitter handle now. A random Twitter handle. Not a huge profile but then he posted this stat and I retweeted it then Ariel Helwani got ahold of it then they’re asking (Hooker) about it, then ESPN is posting about it. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I never expected this thing to (blow up).’”
Felder said he doesn’t quite understand why this particular piece of information got so much traction, but he doesn’t buy into the narrative he’s some sort of jinx.
The fact remains the five men to have beaten Felder – Hooker, Mike Perry, Francisco Trinaldo, Ross Pearson and Edson Barboza – have not been able to win the fight after facing him. He just hopes this doesn’t become such a big point that it seeps into his reality.
“It’s just all coincidental,” Felder said. “It has nothing to do with me. It was just a completely random thing. It got completely blown out of proportion. Hopefully it doesn’t backfire on me and now guys are like, ‘I’m not beating you and then losing my next fight.’ It could be a big fight for them.”
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