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Paul Felder Rejects Clash with Shavkat Rakhmonov Upon Possible UFC Comeback

10 months ago By Jhon Woug

The MMA community is abuzz with excitement over Paul Felder’s potential return from retirement for one last hurrah. While there are a multitude of options for his comeback bout, one name stands out as an unlikely choice.

Felder opted for retirement in 2020 after a closely contested split-decision loss to Rafael dos Anjos. Post-retirement, he seamlessly transitioned into a successful career as a UFC broadcaster, lending his insights during numerous Fight Night broadcasts.

However, a recent occurrence in the world of MMA reignited Felder’s fighting spirit. A certain Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung, staged a spectacular return at UFC Fight Night 225, prompting Felder to tweet, “@KoreanZombieMMA got me wanting to go once more… damn you zombie. Seeing him face that crowd one last time Epic moments. I can’t get that main event out of my mind.”

This tweet set off a wave of speculation and excitement among fans and fighters alike, contemplating Felder’s potential octagon comeback. Not long after, Felder took the plunge and officially initiated his return process by entering the USADA drug testing pool.

Although Felder has a plethora of possible opponents waiting for him, be it in the lightweight or welterweight division, there’s one name he politely declined. When a fan suggested via Twitter that “The Irish Dragon” square off against the red-hot prospect Shavkat Rakhmonov, Felder promptly declined the proposed matchup.

“I speak for everyone when I say we want @Rakhmonov1994 vs. @felderpaul! the fan tweeted.

“No thank you!” was Felder’s succinct response.

With Shavkat Rakhmonov boasting an unblemished record of 17-0, with all wins coming by way of finishes, it’s understandable why Paul Felder might opt to avoid facing such a formidable young contender in his potential comeback. Nevertheless, the UFC matchmaking team will have an intriguing task on their hands when Felder’s return becomes official.

Felder, who holds a professional MMA record of 17-6 and boasts victories over elite UFC fighters like Charles Oliveira and Edson Barboza, has had his fair share of highs and lows inside the octagon. In his most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 182, Felder suffered a closely contested split-decision loss to former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.

Conversely, Shavkat Rakhmonov is one of the hottest prospects currently gracing the UFC. The welterweight sensation currently sits at No. 6 in the division rankings and is on a five-fight win streak in the promotion. With a pristine record of 17-0, featuring eight knockouts and nine submission wins, the Kazakh fighter is widely considered a future title contender. Rakhmonov’s most recent outing at UFC 285 saw him secure a third-round submission victory over Geoff Neal.

As Felder contemplates his return to the octagon, it’s clear he’s not inclined to square off against a rising star like Rakhmonov. While injuries and health concerns factored into Felder’s initial retirement decision, the allure of one more moment beneath the bright lights, sparked by the Korean Zombie’s epic comeback, is undeniable.

While Felder may be hesitant to face an emerging talent like Rakhmonov, the final word on his comeback opponent remains a mystery. MMA enthusiasts eagerly await Felder’s decision, should he choose to grace the UFC octagon once more. As Paul Felder contemplates his comeback, fans and fellow fighters are eager to see who he’ll eventually face inside the octagon.

His successful career as a UFC broadcaster has allowed him to maintain a close connection to the sport, but the desire to experience the adrenaline and challenges of competition has rekindled his fighting spirit. The world of MMA eagerly awaits Felder’s decision, not only about potential opponents but also which division he’ll compete in.

Whether he chooses to return to lightweight or venture into the welterweight division, one thing is certain: a fighter’s heart beats within Paul Felder, and he may pen another thrilling chapter in his storied career.

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