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Paul Felder eager to welcome Michael Chandler to UFC: ‘That’s a fight I’d like to come back for’

ABU DHABI – Paul Felder is walking the tight rope between “active” and “retired.”

Time and time again, Felder (17-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC) has said he’s open to continue fighting – but it has to be against a worthy opponent.

On Tuesday, Felder revealed that a new name has been added to his short list. A fight against former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler is one name Felder would jump at the opportunity to book.

“There are only a few names I’d even be interested in coming back to fighting,” Felder said during a media session with reporters. “It’s the top guys: Hooker, Ferguson, obviously Michael Chandler is going to come here to ‘Fight Island’ to be a backup. Hopefully that doesn’t happen, right? I think we can all agree we don’t want that to happen. It’s good that it’s in place. God forbid something goes down. But that’s a fight I’d like to come back for in December or early next year.”

Felder said as soon as rumors of Chandler’s signing with the UFC surfaced, he let the promotion know it was a fight he wants. As of now, the UFC has not offered him that opportunity.

“I would’ve at least asked when the date was and talked to the team and figured out a training camp potentially,” Felder said. “I’ve made it known that’s a fight I’d be interested in. I even texted Dana White when he first was talking to Chandler, saying, ‘Hey, if you need somebody to introduce him to the big show then I’d be interested.’ I have no disrespect toward Chandler. I think he’s a great athlete.”

In general, Felder would like to see the UFC sign more fighters like Chandler (21-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Champions from other major organizations, who are willing to make the jump, will only enhance the UFC’s roster, Felder said.

“I’m actually excited that he’s over because that ‘what if’ has always been there,” Chandler said. “I’m glad the UFC is doing that and being more interested and kind of reaching out to these other champions and bringing them over. It’s having better guys. Who cares where they’re from? If they’re good, they’re good. Let’s have them compete against the best guys in the world.”

Felder, 35, has not fought since a February main event against Dan Hooker, which he lost by split decision to snap a two-fight winning streak.


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