clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: Paul Felder outlines two scenarios that could draw him out of retirement

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Earlier this year, while working commentary for UFC Vegas 27, lightweight contender Paul Felder officially announced his retirement from MMA. The move was not entirely unexpected as Felder had previously hinted at retirement following a split decision loss to Dan Hooker in 2020, and after weighing it all out, Felder said that ultimately he felt “that spark that I need to fight … it just wasn’t there anymore.” Well, that spark may be coming back, or at least, it could.

Last month, talking with fellow UFC commentator Brendan Fitzgerald, Felder admitted to missing the sport and contemplating a possible return, and this week, speaking with MMA Junkie, Felder outlined two scenarios that could draw “The Irish Dragon” out of retirement.

“There’s two scenarios,” Felder said. “Obviously the ‘money fight’. For some reason if Conor (McGregor) just hates my guts again and wants to fight me, OK sure. I’ll throw on the old MMA gloves to get back in there to change my life and teach him a lesson, but other than that, no. The other one was – Sean Brady actually texted me the other day and he’s like, ‘Would you come back out of retirement for a fight at the Wells Fargo with all of us?’

“Now we’ve got eight Philly guys or at least close to it (in the UFC). (Andre) Petroski, the Daukaus brothers, Jeremiah Wells, (Pat) Sabatini, Brady, Bill Algeo is from the Pennsylvania area, right outside of Philly. That would be tough to turn down, but I don’t know when they’re coming back to the Wells Fargo and who would I fight – I don’t know.”

While the McGregor scenario seems unlikely, the UFC returning to Philadelphia is more a question of “when” not “if.” The promotion has not been to Philadelphia since 2019, a Fight Night event headlined by Justin Gaethje vs. Edson Barboza, but with the emergence of Sean Brady as a bona fide welterweight contender, that is likely to change. Following his win over Michael Chiesa earlier this month, Brady called for the UFC to return to Philly in 2022, which means Felder’s comeback scenario could be right around the corner.

Felder, who is no longer in the USADA testing pool, would ostensibly be required to formally re-enlist with the company and have six months of testing before returning to competition, in accordance with Article 5.7.3 of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy. However, given that Paul only retired in May and has clean tests dating back to earlier this year, it’s possible the UFC could grant an exemption to the six-month written notice rule, especially since this would appear to be a one-off return for Felder and not a full resumption of his career. If not though, and Felder ultimately never competes again, the “Irish Dragon” is content with his life outside of fighting and his work in the commentary booth which keeps him connected to the sport.

“It’s one of the reasons I was able to retire early,” Felder said. “I have five more fights at least physically in me, I just – it’s not there in the fire, it’s not in the belly anymore, so it was time. It’s been a great four years, and I feel like I’m just getting started with that and getting back to the acting eventually a little more as well hopefully.”


Set up. Francis Ngannou believes UFC set up viral backstage Ciryl Gane scene: ‘They were waiting for me’.

Injury. Kamaru Usman reveals he broke hand 3 weeks before Colby Covington rematch at UFC 268.

Book it. Colby Covington: ‘Door is open’ for matchup with ‘participation trophy winner’ Khamzat Chimaev.

UFC money. Frank Mir says Triller Triad will be biggest payday of 20-year career: ‘I’m basically touching on seven figures’.

Dedication. Jiri Prochazka says his fight preparation includes punching tree 500 times a day.

Legal. Former UFC fighter Anthony Rocco Martin arrested in Las Vegas for allegedly urinating in casino hallway, punching security officer.

Troubles. Ex-UFC fighter Luis Pena arrested on multiple charges for third time since June.


The MMA Hour.

Triad Combat press conference highlights.

Behind the scenes of Paddy Pimblett’s UFC debut.

Best Bellator finishes from November.

Israel Adesanya breaks down his KO of Derek Brunson.


We Got Next. Kay Hansen discusses her abusive past and reckoning with an eating disorder.



Diego Sanchez has been hospitalized by Covid.


High level production.


Edson Barboza (22-10) vs. Bryce Mitchell (14-0); UFC Fight Night, Mar. 5.


I hope everyone who celebrates had a good holiday. Thanks for reading and see y’all next week.



Will Paul Felder fight again?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    (157 votes)
  • 65%
    (296 votes)
453 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting