Paul Felder (born April 25, 1985) is an American professional mixed martial artist currently competing in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional since 2011, Felder has also competed for the Cage Fury Fighting Championships. As of October 7, 2019, he is #6 in the UFC lightweight rankings.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Irish American parents, Felder began training in martial arts at the age of 12 starting with Tae Kwon Do and Karate at Zhang Sah. Felder was talented, competing in the Junior Olympics for Tae Kwon Do with his cousin Niko Portillo. He was the main inspiration for him to start his fighting career. Felder attended Ridley High School and later the University of the Arts, for acting, graduating in 2008. During college, Felder began training in Muay Thai before later transitioning into mixed martial arts.
Mixed martial arts career
Felder compiled an amateur MMA record of 3-1 and began his professional mixed martial arts career in 2011. Felder competed entirely in his native Mid-Atlantic states, with most fights for the regional promotion Cage Fury Fighting Championships.
Felder ultimately became Lightweight Champion for the promotion, earning the title with a second-round knockout of Marc Stevens. Felder then defended his title once, with a second-round knockout of Craig Johnson, before signing with the UFC in August 2014.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Felder made his promotional debut on October 4, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 54 where he faced Jason Saggo. Felder won the fight by split decision.
Felder was briefly scheduled to face Johnny Case on January 18, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 59. However, Felder was tabbed as a replacement against Danny Castillo on January 3, 2015 at UFC 182, replacing Rustam Khabilov. Felder defeated Castillo via second-round knockout, which earned Felder a Performance of the Night award.
Felder faced Edson Barboza on July 25, 2015 at UFC on Fox 16, replacing an injured Myles Jury. He lost the fight by unanimous decision. Both participants earned Fight of the Night honors. UFC President Dana White said afterwards that the fight "takes Felder to another level".
Felder faced Ross Pearson on September 5, 2015 at UFC 191. He lost the back-and-forth fight by split decision.
Felder faced Daron Cruickshank on January 17, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 81. He won the fight via submission in the third round.
Felder next faced Josh Burkman on May 29, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 88. He won the fight via unanimous decision.
Felder faced Francisco Trinaldo on September 24, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 95. During the fight, repeated elbows from Trinaldo opened up a large, bloody cut on Felder's face. With a huge cut and blood streaming down Felder's face, the ringside physician waved the fight off at 2:25 of the third round. Felder lost by TKO (doctor's stoppage).
Felder faced Alessandro Ricci on February 19, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 105. He won the fight via TKO in the first round due to a combination of an elbow and punches. The win also earned Felder his second Performance of the Night bonus award.
Felder faced Stevie Ray on July 16, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 113. He won the fight by knockout in the first round after dropping Stevie Ray with a knee strike and subsequently finishing him off with a barrage of ground and pound. The win also earned Felder his third Performance of the Night bonus award.
Felder was expected to face Al Iaquinta on December 2, 2017 at UFC 218. However, Iaquinta pulled out of the fight on October 31 citing an injury and was replaced by Charles Oliveira. Felder won the fight in the second round, finishing Oliveira via TKO with a series of elbows. The bout with Iaquinta was rescheduled for UFC 223. However on the day of the weigh-ins, Max Holloway was declared unfit to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, so Iaquinta replaced him.
Felder was scheduled to face James Vick on July 14, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 133. However, on June 27, Vick was pulled from that fight in favor of a matchup against Justin Gaethje the following month at UFC Fight Night 135. On June 28, it was announced that Felder would replace Yancy Medeiros in a Welterweight bout against Mike Perry at UFC 226 on July 7. He lost the fight via split decision.
Felder faced James Vick on February 17, 2019 at UFC on ESPN 1. He won the fight by unanimous decision.
Felder faced Edson Barboza in a rematch on September 7, 2019 at UFC 242. Felder won by a somewhat controversial split decision.
As the first bout of his new, multi-fight deal Felder faced Dan Hooker on February 23, 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Felder vs. Hooker. He lost the fight via split decision. This fight earned him a Fight of the Night award.
Championships and accomplishments
- Cage Fury Fighting Championships
- CFFC Lightweight Championship (One time)
- One successful title defense
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Performance of the Night (Three times)
- Fight of the Night (Two times) vs. Alessandro Ricci and Dan Hooker
- 2015 January Knockout of the Month
- 2019 September Fight of the Month
- 2018 Broadcast Analyst of the Year
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|23 matches||17 wins||6 losses|
|Loss||17–5||Dan Hooker||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: Felder vs. Hooker||February 23, 2020||5||5:00||Auckland, New Zealand||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||17–4||Edson Barboza||Decision (split)||UFC 242||September 7, 2019||3||5:00||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
|Win||16–4||James Vick||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez||February 17, 2019||3||5:00||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Loss||15–4||Mike Perry||Decision (split)||UFC 226||July 7, 2018||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Welterweight bout.|
|Win||15–3||Charles Oliveira||TKO (elbows)||UFC 218||December 2, 2017||2||4:06||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Win||14–3||Stevie Ray||KO (elbows)||UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio||July 16, 2017||1||3:57||Glasgow, Scotland||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||13–3||Alessandro Ricci||TKO (elbow and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne||February 19, 2017||1||4:44||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada||Performance of the Night.|
|Loss||12–3||Francisco Trinaldo||TKO (doctor stoppage)||UFC Fight Night: Cyborg vs. Lansberg||September 24, 2016||3||2:25||Brasília, Brazil|
|Win||12–2||Josh Burkman||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs. Garbrandt||May 29, 2016||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||11–2||Daron Cruickshank||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz||January 17, 2016||3||3:56||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Loss||10–2||Ross Pearson||Decision (split)||UFC 191||September 5, 2015||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||10–1||Edson Barboza||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Dillashaw vs. Barão 2||July 25, 2015||3||5:00||Chicago, Illinois, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||10–0||Danny Castillo||KO (spinning back fist)||UFC 182||January 3, 2015||2||2:09||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||9–0||Jason Saggo||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Saffiedine||October 4, 2014||3||5:00||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|Win||8–0||Craig Johnson||KO (spinning heel kick)||CFFC 38: Felder vs. Johnson||August 9, 2014||2||3:44||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Defended the CFFC Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||7–0||Marc Stevens||TKO (punches)||CFFC 33: Felder vs. Stevens||March 22, 2014||2||4:03||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||Won the CFFC Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||6–0||Julian Lane||Decision (unanimous)||CFFC 28: Brenneman vs. Baker||October 26, 2013||3||5:00||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||5–0||Corey Bleaken||Decision (unanimous)||CFFC 24: Sullivan vs. Becker||May 11, 2013||3||5:00||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||4–0||Ricky Nuno||TKO (elbows)||CFFC 20: Heckman vs. Martinez||February 8, 2013||1||2:15||King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||3–0||Khama Worthy||TKO (punches)||Pinnacle FC: Pittsburgh Challenge Series 1||December 29, 2012||1||1:10||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||2–0||Judah Ciervo||TKO (doctor stoppage)||XFE: Cage Wars 14||March 3, 2012||2||5:00||Chester, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||1–0||Mtume Goodrum||TKO (knees)||CFFC 12: Pollard vs. Soto||December 10, 2011||2||2:31||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Lightweight debut.|