Former lightweight contender, Paul Felder is reportedly expected to make his long-rumored return to the Octagon at UFC 300 next year, as speculation continues to mount regarding a would-be four-year retirement snapping return to combat sports competition.
Felder, 39, has been sidelined from active competition since he featured atop a UFC Apex facility card against former undisputed lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos back in November 2020, suffering a one-sided split decision loss to the Brazilian in a short-notice main event clash.
The defeat came as Philadelphia native, Paul Felder’s second on the bounce, following a close, debated split decision loss to Dan Hooker in a UFC Fight Night Auckland headliner back in February of that year as the pair turned in a Fight of the Night viewing.
And calling time on his storied career in the year following his subsequent final outing against dos Anjos, Felder has since switched his focus to color-commentary and analyst work, featuring on countless ‘Fight Night’ billed cards as well as pay-per-view events for the UFC.
However, earlier this summer, reports appeared to suggest that Felder was considering a return to the sport, with the Roufusport staple confirming he had returned to the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) testing pool, ahead of a potential return to the sport.
“I have no idea,’ Paul Felder said. “I rolled with Michael (Chiesa) today. Honest to God, it blew up on social. I’m back training, I’m enjoying MMA again.”
“For all the people that think I need a complete both hip replacements, I have bad hips there’s no secret about that. I’ve had bad hips for years, but I am back in the USADA testing pool. That’s exactly where I’m at now, but that is it. That is it. I did it just in case, I’m getting old and there might be some old dudes out there that might want to dust it up in six months. Other than that, I have no idea. I’m enjoying training.”
Paul Felder targeted to make a return to the Octagon at UFC 300 next year
And according to reports earlier this week from The Schmo, Felder is currently targeted to make a return to the Octagon at UFC 300 in the opening quarter of next year, with an opponent or weight class for the former’s return still yet to be disclosed.
Without a victory since a 2019 appearance in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Felder landed a close split decision win over Edson Barboza in the pair’s lightweight rematch.