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 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 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.
Article source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Felder