UFC Lightweight Paul Felder competed on one of the last UFC events prior to the promotion coming to a halt in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. He faced fellow top ranked lightweight Dan Hooker in a five round main event that could very well be a top candidate for fight of the year when 2020 is all said and done. Felder and Hooker met in the middle of the Octagon and exchanged powerful blows in front of a sold-out crowd in Auckland, New Zealand that had fans cheering for the entirety of the bout. Felder ultimately came up short and lost a closely contested split decision to Hooker which had him considering retirement in his post-fight speech. However, Felder recently pronounced his urge to compete again on the MMA on SiriusXM show when asked about the future.
“You know, sitting back and realizing, you know. I just came off my first main event and to have that sold out crowd. That was just absolutely madness down there in New Zealand, and you know, you lose a fight you thought won. It kinda knocked me out of that title picture right away, especially at 155. It’s so freaking crazy that I kind of had the momentum that if I got that decision, I’d be fighting Dustin Poirier, or you know, one of these top three guys. So that is what I ultimately, really made me think about retiring anyway.”
Felder was certainly on course for a top five opponent had he defeated Hooker in February of 2020. The Pennsylvania native was 5-1 going into the highly anticipated main event against Hooker and was known for his exciting style and extreme toughness. Although he has the option to perform his commentary and TV gig full time, Felder went on to explain that the time in quarantine has made him realize he still yearns to compete and put on a show for UFC fans.
“It’s not that I don’t have the fire. That I don’t still physically feel fit to compete. It’s just, you know, we’re in here with a champion. We are in here with another guy who’s damn close to becoming a champion. We’re fighting in this to have that belt. I’ve made a little bit of money and I have, you know, the TV and commentary if I want to. So when I lost that one, that was just like, Oh man. So I got over that a little bit in this quarantine and realized, man I could still go compete and put on a show and if I end up fighting for the belt, then so be it.”
Felder is currently 9-5 in his UFC record and is undoubtedly one of the most popular and entertaining fighters at lightweight due to his wild style, spectacular finishes, and willingness to entertain. If Paul Felder comes back, who should he face next?