Paul Felder has generated considerable excitement within the MMA community by hinting at the possibility of one more UFC fight. While he has taken a significant step toward that potential return, Felder clarifies that no official decision has been made yet.
During the UFC Paris pre-fight show, Felder expressed uncertainty about his fighting future, stating, “I have no idea.” He mentioned his recent training sessions with Michael Chiesa, emphasizing his renewed enjoyment of MMA. Regarding the speculation surrounding his hips, Felder acknowledged that he has struggled with hip issues for years but emphasized that he has taken a step by re-entering the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) testing pool.
Felder’s retirement considerations have been back and forth, initially triggered by a close decision loss to Dan Hooker in February 2020. He briefly returned nine months later for a short-notice fight against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Vegas 14, where he suffered another split decision defeat. Following his retirement announcement during the UFC Vegas 27 broadcast in May 2021, Felder found new inspiration after watching The Korean Zombie’s performance in UFC Singapore, where Zombie announced his MMA career’s end following a knockout loss to Max Holloway.
Rejoining the USADA testing pool doesn’t confirm another fight, but it indicates that Felder is keeping his options open. He explained, “I did it just in case [I do end up fighting again]. I’m getting old, and there might be some old dudes out there that might want to dust it up in six months.” Aside from that, Felder expressed his desire to continue training, assist Michael Chiesa, and return to the gym in Philadelphia to train with fellow fighters. He also mentioned his ongoing involvement in triathlons to emphasize his commitment to staying active.