Paul Felder Says Lightweight Division Is Passing Conor McGregor By

With Conor McGregor still on the sidelines after the broken leg he suffered back in July of 2021, UFC fighter turned color-commentator Paul Felder has questioned whether the superstar will even fight this year, while also suggesting that the lightweight division may well have passed him by in his absence.

“I think he’ll always matter, as long as he’s at least teasing the idea of a return but that’s what worries me,” Felder said on the Fighter vs. Writer podcast. “He’s so busy. He’s filming Road House and all that kind of stuff. I don’t know if that is over or not. It’s tough.

“You’re on yachts. You’ve got mansions. You’ve got all this stuff. You’ve got businesses that you’re working on. You’re coming back from a huge injury. You take yourself out of the USADA testing pool. You’ve got to wait to get back in it. I don’t know. I don’t know if we’re going to see him in 2023. To be completely honest with you.”

It’s worth noting that McGregor did post on January 9th, “excited for my return to the UFC,” which suggests he does still plan to fight this year, but even so, with McGregor now 34-years-old and having lost three of his last four fights in the past four years, Felder believes that if McGregor does eventually return to compete at lightweight then he may find it difficult to rediscover the form that made him a double champion against the current standard of opposition.

“I don’t mean this in any disrespect but I do think the division is just passing him by badly,” Felder said. “I think it’s passing a lot of us. I’m older than him by a few years at least but this next generation of fighters, if you’re not in there mixing it up with them and on the mats with those types of dudes everyday — I know he’s training — but he’s going to have to definitely hope for fights like Michael Chandler, who’s a beast but those are the guys you can still compete with.

“You don’t want to be fighting Arman Tsarukyan or [Mateusz] Gamrot or these young, hungry absolute maniacs that are working their way up the division.”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.