UFC: Paul Felder Dismisses Retirement Talk
After coming up just short on two of the judges’ scorecards at UFC Auckland, having just gone to war with Dan Hooker for twenty five minutes, Paul Felder hinted that he was contemplating retirement.
Speaking on The Ariel Helwani Show however, Felder dismissed any such retirement talk.
“That moment almost seemed right, but nah, I think I’ve got a lot more left in me physically. 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.”
After losing such a close battle, which many believed he won, it is understandable that the 34 year old felt a little dramatic immediately after the fight. But having experienced a five round main event, Felder says he has no interest in anything other than more ‘big, huge matchups’ going forward.
“When I show up, I’m going to put on a goddamn show for everybody, including the UFC. I feel like after that main event, I proved that I can promote it, I can hype it up and I can execute [in the cage]. 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.
“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. 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. 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.”
Who would you like to see Paul Felder fight next?