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Paul Felder backpedals on retirement talk, wants UFC Dublin headliner

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Paul Felder isn’t ready to retire just yet.

UFC Fight Night: Felder v Hooker Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

During his post-fight Octagon interview at UFC Auckland nearly two weeks ago, an emotional Paul Felder spoke about possible retirement. Fresh off a loss to Dan Hooker at the time, the 35-year-old fighter was driven by the desire to spend more time with his family.

“Man, I got a four-year-old at home that misses me every time I go away like this. I don’t know,” Felder told fellow commentator Dan Hardy.

But on Monday, “The Irish Dragon” was singing a different tune, as he feels he still has a lot left in the tank.

“That moment almost seemed right, but nah, I think I’ve got a lot more left in me physically,” Felder said on ESPN’s Ariel Helwani MMA Show. “I’m already recovering from one of the hardest battles of my life, and sh-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,” he continued. “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.”

At this point in his career, Felder says he’s only going for “something exciting.” Headlining UFC Dublin is one thing he has in mind, an idea that his coach Duke Roufus already brought up.

“Obviously, Dublin is something I’ve reached out [about], Duke has made it pretty clear that we want that,” he said on a recent episode of MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. “It’s a pretty quick turnaround for me, but for that card I would love to do it.

“To go fight in Ireland, it would just be so much fun. I’m ‘The Irish Dragon’ and I’ve got ancestry going back to them,” Felder added. “I could sit here and get my uncle Mark and my uncle Jack on to tell you every lineage and town where we’re from and all that kind of nonsense... even though some people just think I’m a German tw-t.”

UFC Dublin, a non-PPV card, takes place on August 15. No headliner has been determined as of this posting.