A retired UFC fighter-turned-commentator is not ruling out a comeback.
Speaking recently with UFC play-by-play commentator Brendan Fitzgerald, former top-10 lightweight Paul Felder said he’s missed fighting “tremendously” and he’ll be getting back into the gym to train with the likes of UFC welterweight Sean Brady to see how he feels. “The Irish Dragon” didn’t commit to a comeback, rather he wants to train with a few active UFC fighters for “a week” and see how it goes.
Felder announced his retirement from the sport earlier this year but has remained a staple on the commentating desk, as well as training and competing as a triathlete.
“Truthfully, for the first time in a very long time since retirement, I feel like since the triathlon season has slowed and there’s not a lot of races, that I’ve really kind of had a chance to reflect on that it’s over, that I’m not fighting anymore,” Felder said via BJ Penn.com. “I have missed it tremendously. I’ve started hitting pads, I’ve started doing stuff. Now, that’s not to say that I’m making some comeback. But I’m definitely going home, I want to train with Sean Brady and the guys a little bit. I want to see how I feel after a week of training with guys like Sean Brady, Jeremiah Wells, Pat Sabatini, and Andrei Petroski — these guys that are all Philly guys in the UFC now — kicking my ass, and then we’ll go from there.”
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Felder Retired in May, Said He Didn’t Have the ‘Burning Desire’ to Fight
Felder, 37, retired during the UFC Fight Night 188 broadcast in May 2021 while working as a color commentator. The Irish Dragon is 0-2 in his last two bouts, dropping decisions to ex-UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and Dan Hooker.
“It’s been really since February when I fought Dan Hooker down in New Zealand, I got the fire back a little bit when I fought RDA (dos Anjos) on five days’ notice,” Felder said. “I thought it was back.
“Ever since then, I’ve spent most of my days swimming, biking and running, and enjoying commentary, enjoying my time with my family, and I feel like it’s got to a point where it’s just like I don’t have that burning desire to fight on for many more years to become the champion.”
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Felder Didn’t See Himself Competing for a Title Within the Next Year, Retired to ‘Save’ Himself
The Irish Dragon continued, saying that he was too far out of the title picture to want to continue.
“I’ve always said that if I don’t see that title picture in the next year or so in my future, that I would retire, and I would do it for my friends, my family and myself, to save myself,” Felder said.
The Irish Dragon has a professional MMA record of 17-6, with 10 wins coming way by KO/TKO. He holds notable wins over the likes of Charles Oliveira, Edson Barboza and James Vick.