Former UFC lightweight contender Paul Felder has laid out two scenarios that could see him return to action inside the Octagon.
Felder announced his retirement earlier this year having built a reputation as one of the toughest and most entertaining fighters on the UFC roster. Across 15 fights in the promotion, “The Irish Dragon” picked up wins over current UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira, James Vick, Edson Barboza, and Stevie Ray.
With six post-fight bonuses, Felder was always a competitor fans knew would give his all in the Octagon, something that was on full display in his final two outings. Despite falling to consecutive losses, the 37-year-old’s Fight of the Night performances across five rounds in a war against Dan Hooker and a short-notice assignment versus Rafael dos Anjos earned him the respect of everyone.
Is Felder Getting The Itch To Return?
Despite only officially hanging up his gloves during the UFC Vegas 27 broadcast in May this year, there’s been constant talk of a possible quick comeback from the color commentator. Paul Felder even admitted he was missing active competition “tremendously” during an October episode of Dana White‘s Contender Series.
In an interview with MMA News ahead of his victory over Michael Chiesa last weekend, Felder’s teammate Sean Brady further teased a comeback from the Philadelphian. The unbeaten welterweight revealed Felder was back in training and claimed he’d certainly come out of retirement for a clash with Conor McGregor.
In a recent appearance on MMA Junkie Radio, Felder confirmed Brady’s hypothesis. Admitting he could be tempted to return, “The Irish Dragon” revealed that a money fight against McGregor is one scenario that could see him trading leather once again. The other pull back to action would be a Wells Fargo event featuring the other Pennsylvania natives in the UFC.
“There’s like two scenarios. 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). (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 would I fight – I don’t know.” (h/t MMA Junkie)
Felder also explained that he retired relatively early due to the abundance of opportunities, such as commentary, available to him outside of fighting. He even claimed that, physically, he still has up to five bouts left in his body.
“It’s one of the reasons I was able to retire early,” Felder said. “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.”
Would you like to see Paul Felder come out of retirement?