Paul Felder steps in to fight Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night

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The UFC has found a replacement for Saturday’s Fight Night main event after Islam Makhachev was forced to withdraw from his fight with Rafael dos Anjos.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto confirmed that Paul Felder (17-5) will fill the vacancy created after Makhachev contracted staph infection and was removed from the lightweight main event on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The report states that not only will Felder compete at lightweight but the main event will remain a five-round fight with the former lightweight champion dos Anjos.

Felder last competed in February losing a split decision to Dan Hooker that snapped a two-fight winning streak. After going up to welterweight for one fight in July 2018 and losing to Mike Perry, Felder returned to lightweight earning decisions against James Vick and Edson Barboza prior to the fight with Hooker.

Dos Anjos (29-13) is coming off two decision losses to Leon Edwards Michael Chiesa with this fight his first at lightweight since November 2016. Dos Anjos moved up to the welterweight division and went 4-4 during that stretch from June 2017 until January 2020.

Makhachev confirmed he off Saturday’s fight in an Instagram post stating he contracted staph infection.

Below is the updated card for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas:

MAIN CARD (7 pm ET on ESPN+)
*Rafael dos Anjos vs. Paul Felder
*Khaos Williams vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan
*Julian Marquez vs. Saparbek Safarov
*Eryk Anders vs. Antonio Arroyo
*Daniel Rodriguez vs. TBA

*Kay Hansen vs. Cory McKenna
*Ashley Yoder vs. Miranda Granger
*Alex Morono vs. Rhys McKee
*Louis Smolka vs. Jose Quinonez
*Randa Markos vs. Kanako Murata
*Gerald de Freitas vs. Tony Gravely
*Don’Tale Mayes vs. Roque Martinez
*Sean Strickland vs. Brendan Allen