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Paul Felder discusses covering Jacksonville events, being ‘nervous’ over COVID-19 test

Paul Felder
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Paul Felder will be working on this weekend’s UFC 249 broadcast remotely, but the celebrated lightweight admits that he is “nervous” ahead of his first on-site events — May 13 and May 16 in Jacksonville — since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.

As far as “The Irish Dragon” knows, he will be tested on his arrival.

“I’m going to be getting some kind of testing done, so I’ll know where I’ll stand on this whole situation,” Felder told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast.

“Whether it’s an antibody test or a COVID test, I don’t know. And unfortunately, if I show up and I have it, I won’t be working and that will be a waste of a trip. I’m supposed to be going to Florida and working, so hopefully I get there and I’m negative and then well, I’ve just got to stay negative for the rest of my life.”

Felder admitted that he is concerned about the prospect of traveling during a global pandemic and about the outcome of his COVID-19 test.

“I’m nervous, of course, just like anyone who’s got to travel through this, it’s going to be a little bit nervous,” Felder said.

“I haven’t been in an airport since Vegas—since the last pay-per-view that I worked—and that was right as it started to become a thing, when we first heard about it swarming through the U.S. But we were still like, ‘We’re not going to have to shutdown - that’s ridiculous,’ and now it’s been six weeks or seven weeks we’ve been shutdown here I think. So yeah, I’m nervous, but also I know I’m nervous for the test because it’s miserable, but I’m also really excited to know that I don’t have this damn thing... or know that I do have it and I’m asymptomatic and they’re going to shut my ass down for 14 days, which really sucks. If I got out there and I test positive, they’re going to lock me in my hotel room for 14 days. They can’t send me back to the airport, right? I gotta quarantine myself there, so that’s 14 days I’m away from my family.”

The top-ranked lightweight also gave his take on some of the challenges that he will have to overcome as he works this weekend’s event from home.

“I’ve done enough Zoom interviews from inside this house already without all the actual setup,” Felder said. Things have gone okay, so I’m hoping that my internet holds up. I’ve got my lighting rigs over here, I’ve got my tripods and they sent me an iPad with a Zoom lens, we just set it all up. And then tomorrow they’re sending me a dome for the light, so it will be a lot more even. I got my suits up here on the bed ready to get dry cleaned.

“The only thing tough for me is, when I’m working the show at the show you show up, you get a little powder, you put your suit on. This is going to be in my own living room, there’s beer down in the fridge. In between shows, I’ll get to go down and watch the main card, I’m going to want to have a cocktail and I can’t do that, I have to stay clean and sober. That’s the only thing. I’m definitely going to have some pizza downstairs ready to go in between.”

Check out Paul Felder’s latest appearance on Eurobash. It begins at 12:00.

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