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Stevie Ray expecting ‘not-so-good’ offer from UFC following loss to Paul Felder

Stevie Ray Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Steven Ray is in limbo following his UFC Glasgow loss to Paul Felder on Jul. 16 at the SSE Arena.

The Scottish lightweight decided to fight out the last bout on his UFC contract against Felder in front of his adoring fans. However, “The Irish Dragon” put in one of the most dominant performances of his life on route to stopping the former Cage Warriors champion in the first round of their clash.

“I don’t know what’s next,” Ray told MMAFighting.com.

“I don’t know what my future holds exactly. I know it will be fighting, obviously, but I’m still waiting on Sean Shelby to get back to me with what UFC is proposing.

“The fight didn’t go my way so they are probably going to offer me a not-so-good contract. I’m just waiting to see what gets sent.”

Felder’s father lost his battle with pancreatic cancer just before his camp for Ray began. Ray claims that he is happy for Felder despite the uncertainty of his situation at this point.

“I think I prefer to dislike my opponents,” he said. “It was hard to get motivated for that fight because he was such a nice guy and it was hard not to sympathize with him.

“I was gutted to lose, but I was happy for Paul as well because of all of his circumstances.

“To be honest, I really want to get an opponent that I can get fired up to face the next time. I’m not trying to say I didn’t want to win, I always want to win and I was trying to win. It is what it is.

“He’s on the rise now. I feel like he’s in a similar situation that I was in when I beat Joe Lauzon. Fair play to him.”

Interestingly, Ray claimed that he was never under the impression that he was risking not getting another contract from the UFC if he lost his clash with Felder.

“I was advised to take the gamble with free agency by my management company. I was never told to turn down the initial contract exactly. (My manager) basically said, ‘This is what the UFC has offered, this is what we want’. Shelby got back to us and said to fight out the contract and if I get the win we could talk about the numbers that we were looking for,” he explained.

“I really didn’t feel like I was risking not getting a contract. I’m in a situation now where I don’t really know what’s happening.”

Ray is currently in a dispute with his management, and for the time being, he has made Shelby aware that any potential contract offers should come directly to him.

“I’m coming down off the fight, I’m a bit depressed and now I’m dealing with this management situation. There are a lot of things we need to talk about, but we’ll see what happens,” Ray said.

“For the moment, I’ve made Sean Shelby aware that he can contact me if there is an offer on the table. That’s the situation at the moment. He has told me that he will be in touch with me in the next couple of weeks, so I hope to have an update then.”

It appears as though Bellator is interested in signing European fighters as it continues to expand into the continent. However, Ray’s preference is to re-sign with UFC. He also insisted that becoming a free agent was never intended as a threat to leave the promotion.

“I want to be with the UFC,” he said.

“This free agency thing was never intended as threat to the UFC. I didn’t know that people were looking at in that way. I was never threatening that I would go elsewhere.

“I just wanted the money that I asked for and I was told by my manager that if I won my next fight I would get that money. Obviously, that hasn’t worked out.

“At the same time, if Bellator came after me and said that they were going to offer me good money and I hadn’t heard from the UFC, say if they were not going to offer me anything, you’ve got to where the money is in that case.

“I’ve got a family now and it’s taken me a long time to get to where I am. There were a lot of sacrifices and a lot of stressful times. I’ve got a fiancé and three kids at home. Technically, I don’t have a job right now, and that’s a problem in my kind of situation.”

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