Paul Felder
The Irish Dragon

USA

Out
Injury Face
Est. Return 5/1/2020
No surgery needed
LightweightUFC
Out
March 5, 2020
Felder told Peter Carroll of MMAFighting.com that despite suffering multiple orbital floor fractures following his UFC Auckland loss to Dan Hooker, he is not expected to need surgery.
ANALYSIS
Felder estimates he'll need roughly eight weeks without contact before returning to training, though he did admit to some ankle troubles as well. He ended up hospitalized following his narrow loss to Hooker, due largely to kidney issues, but was later cleared. While retirement may be on the table (Felder has a bright future ahead as a commentator), the 34-year-old has so far been non-committal on his fighting future.
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Mulls retirement after going to war
LightweightUFC
Out
February 22, 2020
Felder lost to Dan Hooker via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 47-48) at UFC Fight Night 168 in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Felder was on the receiving end of a lot of punishment from his opponent early on but never stopped pressing forward, which eventually resulted in Hooker slowing down. This allowed Felder to impose his will in the championship rounds, but it wasn't enough to cover Hooker's early success. It did, however, earn each combatant a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus. A battered and tearful Felder thought about hanging up his gloves after the decision was read but ultimately decided not to make a hasty decision in the moment. It's hard to blame Felder for feeling frustrated, as it seems like every time his UFC career has started to gain steam over the years, it has been derailed by a loss before reaching a title shot. Whatever he decides, Felder will be remembered as one of the tougher outs in the lightweight division, having only been finished once (via doctor stoppage) in 22 professional fights. He currently holds an MMA record of 17-5.
Heads to Auckland as underdog
LightweightUFC
Out
February 16, 2020
Felder enters as approximately a (+125) betting underdog for his lightweight matchup against Dan Hooker at UFC Auckland on Feb. 22.
ANALYSIS
Fresh off an extension with the UFC, Felder has momentum on his side after picking up wins against both James Vick and Edson Barboza in 2019. Hooker's last loss was actually to Barboza, but he's otherwise won six of his last seven fights. Felder hasn't been credited with a takedown since 2016, and it's been since 2017 for Hooker, so look for this one to play out primarily on the feet. Hooker has a pretty big edge in terms of volume striking, but Felder has far superior marks when it comes to overall striking defense. Felder is nearly six years older than Hooker, but both have racked up 13 fights under the UFC banner. A win here could put either man right back in the middle of the 155-pound title picture.
Inks new multi-fight deal
LightweightUFC
Out
December 3, 2019
Felder signed a new multi-fight contract with the UFC on Tuesday, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The 35-year-old was already slated to face Dan Hooker at UFC Auckland on Feb. 23, but he also received a multi-fight deal along with the fight. The specific details of the contract were not revealed. Felder is regarded as one of the top fighters in the lightweight division as a result of his five consecutive wins that have brought his UFC record to 9-4.
Facing Dan Hooker in February
LightweightUFC
Out
November 27, 2019
Felder will face Dan Hooker at UFC Auckland on Feb. 23.
ANALYSIS
Felder has won five of his last six fights, winning via decision in both of his fights in 2019. In Hooker, he'll face an opponent who's won six times in his last seven matches. It looks to be an even matchup, with Felder ranked sixth in the lightweight division and Hooker, who will be fighting in his hometown, ranked seventh.
Edges out Barboza in fun scrap
LightweightUFC
Out
September 7, 2019
Felder defeated Edson Barboza via split decision 27-30, 29-28, 30-27) at The Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Saturday's battle was every bit as close and exciting as the last time these two met in 2015. While the 30-27 card may seem a bit hard to justify, Felder is certainly a rightful winner in general, as he used great pressure and boxing to land heavy strikes on Barboza for most of the night. Many likely see Felder as more of a commentator than a fighter these days, but the "The Irish Dragon" is as game as they come in the cage, having won five of his last six fights. As if we needed more proof, Felder called out Conor McGregor and Justin Gaethjie in his post-fight speech, which should make it clear he still has designs on a title shot. Felder improves to 17-4 in professional MMA as a result of the victory