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Stevie Ray feeling no additional pressure against Paul Felder despite looming free agency

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Pearson vs Ray Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Scotland’s Stevie Ray will look to secure an improved offer from the UFC after his fight with Paul Felder on Sunday night in Glasgow at UFC Fight Night 113, having passed up the chance to re-sign with the promotion ahead of his SSE Hydro homecoming.

Currently 5-1 under the UFC banner, having picked up wins over established names like Joe Lauzon and Ross Pearson, Ray believes that the UFC can better the initial offer he received, which was not what he was expecting “money-wise.”

The former Cage Warriors champion believes Paul Felder is an ideal opponent to finish his current contract against, given the American’s ability to wow fans with his aggressive style.

“Felder always brings it, so that’s the kind of fight that I want,” said Ray.

“I certainly don’t want anyone like that Brazilian (Alan Patrick) again, you know, someone who is just going to lie on me. I accept being beaten, I’ve been beaten before, but those kinds of fights are just boring. He looked boring and he made me look boring. That’s the last thing you want when you’re taking a gamble with free agency.

“I want to fight someone like Lauzon. When he takes you down, he’s trying to take your head off. Felder is going to bring the best out of me. I know he’s going to be ready and I know I’m going to be ready, so I’m expecting it to be an exciting fight.

“It’s perfect, really,” Ray added. “It’s the exact kind of fight that you want for the last fight on your contract. I want the Scottish people to be up on their feet for as long as the fight is happening.”

Ray is feeling pressure heading into his second Scottish event as a UFC fighter, but reported no additional tension based on his looming free agency. As the Fife man explained, he is feeling the same sort of pressure that was with him ahead of UFC’s trip to Glasgow in 2015.

That night, Ray blew the roof open in the Scottish capital with a first-round victory over Leonardo Marfa. He is hoping for a similar emphatic finish against “The Irish Dragon” when they meet in UFC Fight Night 113’s co-main event.

“I don’t feel any additional pressure because of the free agency situation, but I always feel the pressure of a fight,” Ray said. “I’m at home and I’m fighting a tough guy, there’s always pressure in that regard.

“It’s all about how you deal with that pressure. As I like to say, ‘pressure is for tires.’ You can only deal with pressure by taking a look at the evidence.

“Look at my last fight in Scotland,” Ray continued. “Did it look like I dealt well with the pressure that night? I was feeling the pressure that night and I was nervous, but I still knocked the guy out in the first round.

“If pressure is something that gives me 50 grand bonuses, then bring on the pressure.”

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