ByJim Edwards, writer at
MMA story chaser from the UK
Jim Edwards

Stevie Ray is putting it all on the line at .

The proud Scotsman will take on Paul Felder on July 16 and many are already tipping it for ‘Fight of the Night’ honours. Speaking excluisively to earlier today, Ray said he was happy with his preparations so far.

“I’m well prepared, everything is just the same as always really,” Ray said. “My weight is on track and I’m sharp and just ready to go now. I’ve got like a week and a half just to sharpen a few more things if I can, but then I’ll start to take it down a notch or two so that my body can rest and heal. But touch wood, we’re like three weeks out now and everything is nicely on plan.”

While happy to get the fight with Felder, not everything worked out the way Ray wanted it to after his last fight with Joe Lauzon. Ray was expecting to be offered a lucrative new contract by the UFC, but he revealed that didn’t quite go as planned.

“The fight with Lauzon was the second to last fight on my contract,” Ray said. “I thought that was going to be the last one before I renegotiate because usually they renegotiate with you when you have one fight left on your contract. I think they offered me something, but we were expecting more because what I’ve done so far and who I’ve beat. So yeah, we wanted a little bit more, but Shelby said what I was asking, if I win this fight then we can speak about what I want.”

Suffice to say, the stakes are higher than ever for Ray next month in Glasgow. In his mind, Ray knows what he wants and from his perspective, it’s all about going out there and earning his new contract.

“So yeah, that’s what makes this fight even more important for me,” Ray said. “This is the last fight on my contract so technically I can anywhere I want after this fight. Obviously, I want to stay with the UFC so I’m hoping all goes well and I get to 6-1 in the UFC, with a three-fight win streak and with three big names in my last three fights. I will have also been a big part of UFC Scotland and helped the UFC out a few times so I hope they will give me the contract that I’m looking for.”

Ray will now fight out his contract against Felder meaning everything will be based on July 16. The Scot admitted this would bring a different layer of pressure to the fight, but he added that with every fight that goes by, the stakes are always getting bigger.

“If another promotion offered me way more money then you’ve got to go where the money is,” Ray said. “We will see what happens, but I guess it’s all on this fight. Of course, there’s some pressure that comes with that, but for me, every fight has its own pressure. Every single fight is your most important fight because it’s all to do with your future—this is about my livelihood. Getting that next contract means a lot for me, my family and my future. To be honest, fighting in Scotland brings pressure. Last time I really felt the pressure last time, but I rose above it and done well. This time I plan to do the same.”

Ray vs. Felder will go down on July 16 at . The fight card will be headlined by Gunnar Nelson taking on Santiago Ponzinibbio.

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