Justin Gaethje Says Paul Felder’s Challenge Was “Unprofessional”

Justin Gaethje
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Justin Gaethje believes Paul Felder was out of line.

Gaethje shared the Octagon with Edson Barboza on March 30. The bout was action-packed but it only lasted two minutes and 30 seconds. Gaethje knocked Barboza out cold with one punch.

Gaethje Criticizes Felder

Felder served as an analyst on the ESPN+ desk. During the UFC Philadelphia post-fight show, Felder offered to fight Gaethje if no other opponents ranked ahead of him were available. During an appearance on MMAFighting.com‘s “The MMA Hour,” Gaethje talked about the situation:

“I just think it was an unprofessional move on Paul’s part. I think he knows that. He’s there in a different status than me. I was a fighter that night and he was an employee or a staff member, and I was just really caught off guard. I didn’t even know what was happening until, like, the second time, I think when (ESPN broadcaster) Karyn (Bryant) brought it up and I was like, ‘oh.’ I bet that was probably like 17 minutes from the moment I stepped out of the ring, probably less than that … at least 15, whatever.

“But dude, I’m telling you, I hadn’t seen the fight. From the moment they tell you that you have about four minutes until you’re going to go into that hallway to make that walk to the Octagon, that’s the last time you get to kinda process anything. And then after that, win or lose, it’s over. You can’t process anything. It’s a million miles an hour, a thousand words a second, you’re trying to take in everything, trying to not miss specific things, trying to do interviews, trying to make the decisions that you need to make to not sound like a fool.”

Do you think Paul Felder was out of line?