When he wasn’t in the cage delivering wars, Paul Felder was cageside calling fights and securing the 2020 MMA analyst of the year award.
Paul Felder got his shot at an analyst role for the UFC in September of 2017 and hasn’t looked back since. With a background in theater, the graduate of Philadelphia’s University of Arts has made a perfect fit on the mic calling fights for the UFC. In just four years with the color commentary gig, Felder has already won the FanSided MMA award for the Analyst of the Year twice (2018, 2020).
Felder has a special ability to bring an infectious excitement to the commentary table that comes with a first-class knowledge of martial arts enhancing a fan’s viewing and educating those who are new to the sport. While Felder is a fan favorite inside of the Octagon, it’s when he’s calling fights where we get to see the outstanding character of Felder displaying the humility that makes Felder so dang likable and relatable to those watching from home.
When the UFC made their first stop to Fight Island, perhaps nobody was more busy than Felder who was scheduled to work the July 11, July 15, July 18, and July 25 events. A span of three weeks that would hold over 40 fights across four different events. However, issues with COVID-19 testing would prolong travel plans and prevent Felder from making it in time to work the July 11 event. Despite this, Felder would go on to work the remaining three events.
Preparation for any event can be daunting when you’re covering around 12 fights a night for a four-hour time span. To do this for three events in 10 days is remarkably difficult and even more impressive considering how well Felder guided fans through fights and properly showcased each fighter, whether they were the main event or opening prelim.
Felder showed his flexibility as a professional for the July 15 event when he stepped away from the mic for a fight to go corner his teammate and good friend, Jared Gordon. Due to positive COVID-19 test results, Gordon entered Fight Island without any coaches in his corner. Felder would go on to corner Gordon to an impressive victory and then return to the commentary booth by the time the broadcast returned from commercial break.
A few months later when the main event of a card fell apart, Felder would once again save the day. Felder was slated to do the color commentary for the Rafael dos Anjos and Islam Makhachev headliner, but when Makhachev pulled out due to injuries, Felder stepped up to face dos Anjos on just five days’ notice. Felder made weight and even provided the fight of the night. Just three days removed from a five-round war with dos Anjos, Felder would return to the booth to call fights for Dana White’s Contender series.
He’s a pro’s pro. Felder is an incredible member of the UFC’s broadcast team who connects with any broadcast partner, passionately prepares for each event, and has become a regular on the mic that transcends fight night for those viewing.