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Midnight Mania! Paul Felder may retire following UFC Vegas 14 main event vs. Rafael dos Anjos

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

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Paul Felder is a man who wears many hats. The 35-year-old veteran remains a top-ranked Lightweight contender, but he also works as a commentator and cornerman. Following a frustrating split-decision loss to Dan Hooker that ended his win streak, it was not a complete surprise to see Felder leave his gloves in the ring.

Of course, this is MMA, and the first retirement rarely sticks. Felder soon expressed his willingness to return for any interesting challenges. Apparently, a short-notice, five-round battle with a former champion in Rafael dos Anjos qualifies, as “The Irish Dragon” jumped on the opportunity just a couple days ago.

Will he stick around after this bout? Even the man himself is uncertain.

“I say 50-50,” Felder explained (transcription via BloodyElbow). “I was thinking about that. What a way to just be like, ‘Boom! Mic drop.’

“(The odds will) probably do increase (if I win),” he continued. “If I lose, then I might want to have to get back in there for one more. It might eat away at me, just kind of like the Hooker fight that I was ready to move on. And then it’s like, ‘No.’ I still haven’t proven quite what I’m capable of.”

Win or lose, Felder understands that his time is almost up, but the specifics depend on how everything shakes out following this main event slot.

“I know I’m nearing the end of my career soon, and this, I think, it’s win-win for me,” Felder said. “Because if I go in there and I can finish and beat RDA, a former champ, then it gives me a lot of selling points to be getting these bigger fights which seem to have been eluding me in the top five of the lightweight division here in the UFC. How do you not give me something big after this if I go in there after stepping up?

“If it doesn’t go my way, then I saved the day. I’m going in there to try to win.”


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