Paul Felder has contemplated ending his retirement and returning to the Octagon once before, but thus far the ‘Irish Dragon’ has remained firm in his decision to stay away from professional competition. However, there are two scenarios that would make him reconsider.
Felder announced his retirement during the broadcast of UFC Vegas 27 this past May and explained that he no longer had the “burning desire” to continue fighting at the top of his division. That desire has come and gone in recent months for the former ranked lightweight contender, but Felder told George Garcia on MMA Junkie Radio that the only way he would return is for either a money fight or an appearance in front of his hometown alongside his fellow Philadelphia natives.
“There’s like two scenarios,” said Felder. “Obviously the ‘money’ fight. For some reason if Conor [McGregor] just hates my guts again and wants to fight me, OK sure. I’ll throw on the old MMA gloves to get back in there to change my life and teach him a lesson, but other than that, no. The other one was — Sean Brady actually texted me the other day and he’s like, ‘Would you come back out of retirement for a fight at the Wells Fargo with all of us?’
“Now we’ve got eight Philly guys or at least close to it [in the UFC],” continued Felder. “[Andre] Petroski, the Daukaus brothers, Jeremiah Wells, [Pat] Sabatini, Brady, Bill Algeo is from the Pennsylvania area, right outside of Philly. That would be tough to turn down, but I don’t know when they’re coming back to the Wells Fargo and who I would fight — I don’t know.”
Felder added that he was not interested in resuming his career for more than that one fight. His focus is now on other work outside of the cage, such as the color commentary he regularly provides in the broadcast booth during UFC fight night and pay-per-view events.
He also said the transition from fighter to commentator has been rewarding thus far, and he has enjoyed pursuing this career path since he left his proverbial gloves in the Octagon.
“It’s one of the reasons I was able to retire early,” said Felder. “I have five more fights at least physically in me, I just – it’s not there in the fire, it’s not in the belly anymore, so it was time. It’s been a great four years, and I feel like I’m just getting started with that and getting back to the acting eventually a little more as well hopefully.”
Felder went 9-6 under the UFC banner and earned notable wins over Danny Castillo, Charles Oliveira and Edson Barboza. His final outings were ‘Fight of the Night’ awarded performances against Dan Hooker and Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on ESPN+ 26 and UFC on ESPN+ 40, respectively.