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The Theme of UFC on ESPN+ 41: “Hunger”

There were many storylines heading into UFC Fight Night: Felder vs dos Anjos. Many more emerged, but the overall theme of the night was “hunger”.

Heading into the event, Abdul Razak Alhassan vs Khaos Williams was pegged as a “don’t blink” fight. If you did blink, I’m sorry, because it was jaw dropping.

After flatlining Alhassan, the Detroit native explained why he’s had so much success since entering the UFC back in February.

“It’s my mindset, winning’s a state of mind,” Williams declared. “I’m always focused you know… I’m hungry.”

Hungry was a word frequently used by Williams throughout the week leading up to the fight. A fighter’s hunger isn’t necessarily displayed on fight night. Rather, it’s the weeks prior to the bout when hunger is demonstrated. Fight night is merely dinner time, and ‘The Oxfighter’ ate.

Khaos Williams wasn’t the only fighter who satisfied their hunger this past weekend. Both men who competed in the main event showed hunger to the greatest extremes. Oddly enough, Felder may have displayed more even in defeat.

This is a man who was openly considering retirement heading into his second main event bout. Not only did his hunger rise to the surface when he accepted the fight on five days notice, but it surfaced during and after the contest as well.

“Thursday night was probably one of the darkest nights of my life, cutting that weight,” Felder told Michael Bisping after the fight. “I said I was gonna be the first one on that scale, I was the first one on that scale. I said I was gonna give hell to a former champion and go five rounds if we had to, and we just had a five round battle. I can tell you guys with certainty, I’m not going anywhere right now.”

Felder, who fought with a heavy heart, has rediscovered his passion for fighting. Talk about hunger.

On the flip side, RDA is someone who knows what it’s like to encounter speedbumps along a career path. There’s no need to detail his recent setbacks, but just know that he could have hanged it up at 36 and people would have understood.

Instead, he drops back down to the division he once conquered and he beats a durable fringe-contender in Felder. Expectantly, he isn’t satisfied just yet. He played a little matchmaker in his post-fight interview.

“Me and Conor (McGregor), we are the only real champions in that division. Everybody else are all interim champions, so if the division’s open I think me and Conor is the fight to make.”

‘The Notorious’ seems down. but we’ll wait and see. Expect RDA to face either Dan Hooker or Charles Oliveira next. It was truly a triumphant return back to lightweight for dos Anjos.

Speaking of triumphant returns, Sean Strickland is now (2-0) since returning from his extended layoff. Despite suffering a serious leg injury in a motorcycle accident, Strickland has looked his best since coming back.

With wins now over Jack Marshman and Brendan Allen, things are lining up for the 29 year old to make a run towards the top 10. Omari Akhmedov or Krzysztof Jotko would be fun for ‘Tarzan’ next.

There’s no doubt that the overall theme of UFC Fight Night: Felder vs dos Anjos was “hunger”. Credit Khaos Williams for popularizing the term Saturday evening, but credit each fighter mentioned above for their showcase of hunger.

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