Paul Felder does not plan on hanging up his gloves any time soon after losing to Rafael dos Anjos in a short-notice bout on Saturday.
At UFC on ESPN+ 41, Paul Felder stepped in on five days’ notice to compete against Rafael dos Anjos in the event’s headliner. Felder was unsuccessful, but he gained something more valuable than a victory: his passion. Following his previous loss to Dan Hooker and leading up to this event, Paul Felder was forthcoming about his contemplation of retirement. But after what Felder has just experienced this week, he is as committed as ever to competing into the future.
“I can tell you guys with certainty: I’m not going anywhere right now,” Felder said in his post-fight interview. “I lost my passion for this sport pretty bad. I can tell you I’m not done. I might lose my ranking a little bit, but what I’ve learned in this sport is none of that matters. What matters is going out there, showing up, showing who you are inside and what determination you have.”
Paul Felder showed dedication and determination inside and outside of the Octagon this week. From the brutal weight cut on short notice to once again wearing a crimson mask and absorbing a lot of punishment during the fight, Paul Felder’s commitment to the battle never faltered. And in the post-fight press conference, Paul Felder reiterated that not only will he not retire, but that he is hoping to return to the Octagon very soon. Felder had hoped that a win Saturday night would give him a big name for his next opponent if he were to continue competing, but following the fight, it seems as though Felder is just eager to remember what a full fight camp and its benefits feel like.
Paul Felder is currently the #7 ranked lightweight in the world. As he indicated, this number is sure to drop after losing to the unranked dos Anjos who is just now returning to the division, but should the UFC honor Felder’s wishes and get him right back in the cage, Felder could soon find himself right back at the ranking he currently occupies, if not slightly higher.
Whom would you like to see Paul Felder fight in his next UFC bout?