Former UFC lightweight contender, Paul Felder has claimed that he has missed competing inside the Octagon “tremendously” off the back of his retirement from active competition back in May, amid recent speculation linking him to a hiatus snapping return
Philadelphia striker, Felder confirmed his retirement from competition during the broadcast of UFC Vegas 27 back in May, citing his intentions to focus entirely on his already successful career as a color commentator and analyst for the promotion.
In his most recent appearance under the promotion’s banner, Felder replaced the upcoming UFC 267 feature, Islam Makhachev who was suffering from a staph infection — fighting former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos on just five day’s notice at UFC Vegas 14 in November, suffering a second consecutive split decision loss.
Speculation began to mount regarding a potential Octagon return for the 37-year-old when his management firm, SuckerPunch management released a direct message exchange with the former contender and his manager, Brian Butler-Au who wrote “I miss it just a little bit” with the latter replying with a “say when” GIF.
Addressing the rumors surrounding a potential UFC comeback, Felder spoke with play-by-play commentator Brendan Fitzgerald and fellow color-commentator standout, Laura Sanko following the culmination of Dana White’s Contender Series last night — where he claimed he missed fighting “tremendously“.
“For the first time, in a very long time since retirement, I feel like since the triathlon season has slowed and there’s not a lot of races, that I’ve really had a chance to reflect on — that it’s over, that I’m not fighting anymore, and I’ve missed it tremendously,” Felder told commentators Fitzgerald and Laura Sanko.
“I’ve started hitting pads and I’ve started doing stuff — now, that’s not to say that I’m making some comeback, but I’m definitely, gonna come home and train with Sean Brady and the guys a little bit. And I wanna see how I feel after a week of Sean Brady, Jeremiah Wells, Pat Sabatini, Andre Petroski, these guys that are all Philly guys in the UFC now, kick my ass and we’ll go from there.“
Felder explained that whilst his situation with anti-doping agency, USADA may be “tricky” in regards to re-entering their testing pool, the fact that he only officially exited less than six months ago may allow him to expedite the process.
“That’s a tricky situation, but I think, because I was in it for so long, or I haven’t been out of it that long, that I could be expeditated but it would be a couple months I’d think.“