Conor McGregor doesn’t mince his words when it comes to giving his opinion about Paul Felder’s fighting moniker, ‘The Irish Dragon’.
Both Felder and McGregor are currently in Abu Dhabi for the UFC’s third visit to Fight Island, where the former will be fulfilling his obligations as a fight analyst and commentator, while the Irishman will look to take care of things inside the Octagon against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257.
Last year, in a tweet which was later deleted, McGregor took jibes at Felder with regards to his heritage, saying that the name ‘Felder’ is German and not Irish.
Speaking to the media on Fight Island (as transcribed by MMA Junkie), Felder said that he hopes when the two cross paths during their fight week obligations, McGregor doesn’t continue to throw barbs at him.
“I was talking to my producer,” Felder said. “We’re going to have to do fighter meetings, and hopefully we can get through that without any German comments. My last name is German, right? My dad’s side … I hate talking about this!. I know I’m not Irish. I’m not German. I’m not Italian. I’m not Swedish. I’m American. I get that.”
Origins Of ‘The Irish Dragon’
Felder wasn’t the one who came up with his nickname, and in fact, he “hated” it at first. The moniker was introduced when someone started calling him ‘The Irish Dragon’ on YouTube, due to his karate style and his love for Lyoto Machida. The nickname was eventually picked up by Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC), where he was fighting at the time, and it stuck.
“I also did not give myself ‘The Irish Dragon’ nickname. As a matter of fact, I fought against it for the first few fights of my pro career, because I freaking hated it,” Felder said. “I thought it was stupid. It got put together because I did karate [and] Lyoto Machida was one of my favourite fighters – ‘The Dragon’ – and then this guy was like, ‘You’re Irish – The Irish Dragon,’ and he started saying it on a YouTube video.
“CFFC got a hold of it when I was fighting for them. They just called me that for one fight, and it stuck. So I’m not trying to claim any heritage and this and that. Obviously, I’m of Irish descent. You can take one look at me.”
‘The German Dragon’
While it doesn’t get him riled up, Felder believes McGregor is targeting him because he understands the two could face one another inside the Octagon somewhere down the road.
“He’s poked fun at me on social media and then deletes them,” Felder shared. “I think he’s just f***ing with me, to be honest, you know? He’s like that. He’s not an idiot. He’ll poke at anybody in case … you climb the ranks, and you’re next. He’s like that.
“I know why [McGregor called me out] because I’m calling myself ‘The Irish Dragon’ and he’s like, ‘Well, your last name is German, so what the hell are you talking about?’ So if I ever had to fight him, maybe I’d come out as ‘The German Dragon’ for that one. But it’s all good, and I don’t think that’s going to come up in fighter meetings, but we shall see.”
Felder last fought at UFC Vegas 14 in a short notice fight against Rafael dos Anjos, losing via split decision.
Would you be interested in a potential fight between Paul Felder and Conor McGregor down the road?