Former UFC fighter Paul Felder is inching closer to a potential return to the Octagon after a three-year retirement.
Felder has re-entered the USADA Testing Pool under UFC’s current requirement. The UFC-USADA partnership ends on January 1, 2024, barring a stark pivot in the promotion’s decision.
Felder hasn’t fought since a short-notice loss to Rafael dos Anjos in Nov. 2020. He announced his retirement during a UFC broadcast just a few months later in May 2021.
Since then, Felder has remained in top physical condition, training for triathlons and remaining in fit shape. After watching The Korean Zombie’s UFC swan song earlier this year, he’s hinted at a return to fighting and has taken the first steps.
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Paul Felder Has Hinted At A UFC Return
Photo via Instagram @felderpaul
Felder told ESPN’s Marc Raimondi that returning to the USADA pool doesn’t mean he’ll return to fighting. He described it as a ‘just-in-case’ move.
The 39-year-old Felder has become one of ESPN’s top UFC analysts since focusing full-time on his broadcasting career. He’s been a staple of UFC cards, including most recently at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.
Felder’s last win came against Edson Barboza by split decision at UFC 242. He went on to lose back-to-back decisions to Dan Hooker and dos Anjos.
Felder was a mainstay of the UFC’s lightweight division during his long fighting career with the promotion. He defeated the likes of Charles Oliveira, Stevie Ray, and James Vick in the Octagon.
Felder’s fighting status is still up in the air, but fans of his can start to get excited about the possibility of at least one more fight.
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