Paul Felder is walking back on his retirement talk.
In the main event of UFC Auckland, Felder was taking on Dan Hooker and when the fight went to the scorecards it was close. Yet, Hooker edged out a split-decision and following the loss, Felder said it may have been his final fight.
Now, just over a week later, on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, when asked if this was his last fight he said ‘no.’
Felder says he still has dreams of winning the UFC title and taking it back home. So, he knows he still has a few more fights left in him.
“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**t, 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,” he continued. “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.”
Although he says he still has a lot of fights left in him, Felder says it needs to make sense for him to continue as he’s happy doing commentating. So, he needs it to be a top-ranked opponent or the main event for him to return.
“If something were to happen to any of these guys in the top five and they can’t match up the way the UFC wants them to match up,” Paul Felder said. “There’s been some talk of Al Iaquinta wanting to fight me, and if you give me a five-rounder with him on a big Fight Night, or a rematch with Hooker, which is never going to happen, but obviously that’s something I would take to get that one back.
“I’m not coming back for the last fight on the prelims, or even the second fight on a pay-per-view. And it’s nothing against them,” he concluded. “It’s not saying that I deserve all of these extra things. It’s just, to go through what I go through and put myself through in training, and then you see how I pushed myself in the fight, you can’t deny that anymore.”
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/2/2020.