Paul Felder’s management and coach already said that retirement talk was premature after the fighter’s disappointing loss to Dan Hooker at UFC Auckland. Now the man himself has confirmed that he has more fighting left to do.
After dropping a split verdict to Hooker on Feb. 22, “The Irish Dragon” contemplated calling it a career. “The might be it for me,” he said during an interview in the Octagon.
During an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, Felder admitted that he enjoys fighting too much to hang up the gloves at 34 years old.
"That moment almost seemed right, but nah, I think I've got a lot more left in me physically," Felder said. "I'm already recovering from one of the hardest battles of my life, and s---, it's addictive, man. That five rounds, that main event, I liked it. I liked being on the poster.
"I'm a pretty dramatic guy. I kind of always think about that moment [of retiring in the cage]. Just as I always think about what having the belt put around my waist would be like and taking that back to Philly. Or fighting at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, or bringing the belt to the Eagles' stadium, The Linc, and hanging out with the team. I fantasize about all of these things, and retirement is just another one of them. And it's not in any bad way.”
However, Felder won’t get back into the Octagon for just any run-of-the-mill fight. At the very least, it has to be on the level of his headlining matchup with Hooker.
"I think at this point it's safe to say I'm only coming back for things that really entice me. Things that are going to make me train the way I did for this fight -- five-round fights, big, huge matchups with somebody who excites me. Other than that, I'll just do commentary and wait for that matchup.”