Paul Felder isn’t going anywhere. According to a report from MMA Fighting, the lightweight contender has signed a new, multi-fight deal with the UFC.
Paul Felder last fought in the main event of UFC Vegas 14 last Saturday, when he lost a split decision to former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. However, Felder accepted the fight on just five days’ notice—replacing dos Anjos’ original opponent, Islam Makhachev—so he hardly lost any ground in defeat.
Heading into this short-notice fight with dos Anjos, Felder was vocal about his uncertainty about his fighting future, admitting that he might retire, win or lose, after the bout.
“I was probably closer to out than back in,” Felder told Bleacher Report ahead of the fight. I didn’t feel like I was getting talked about the way I should have been.
“I was just kind of upset and frustrated and almost ready to move on,” he added. “When I got the call, it felt the stars were aligning in a very strange way. It felt like if I turned it down, it would very much be one of those things where I’d be like, ‘What if? What if I had taken that fight? What could have happened?’ And if it doesn’t go my way, I have no regrets. I took it. I lived dangerously and I went for it.”
Despite that uncertainty, Felder now seems determined to continue fighting, as he’s inked a new long-term contract with the UFC.
“It’s great to see Paul getting the love and respect from the MMA community and truly becoming the people’s champ,” Felder’s manager Brian Butler told MMA Fighting. “We are happy to announce that we have extended his contract with the UFC and have eyes set on another run at the title. A lot of fun fights ahead, stay tuned.”
Paul Felder is currently 17-6 as a pro mixed martial artist. Highlights of his resume include victories over Edson Barboza, James Vick, Charles Oliveira, Stevie Ray, Joshua Burkman, Danny Castillo, Jason Saggo, Julian Lane, and Khama Worthy. His losses, meanwhile, have come against high-level stars like Rafael dos Anjos, Mike Perry, Francisco Trinaldo, Ross Pearson, and Barboza.