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Paul Felder confirms he isn’t retiring from UFC, but will only take on an enticing challenge

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After losing to Dan Hooker via razor-thin split decision at UFC Fight Night 168 in Auckland, New Zealand, a few weeks ago, an emotional Paul Felder indicated that he had competed in his final mixed martial arts (MMA) fight. Now that he’s had time to reflect on things a bit more, “Irish Dragon” is still feeling the sting, but says he will, in fact, continue chugging along and won’t be hanging up his gloves anytime soon.

“I got a little emotional in there, and I really have been thinking about how many more I have left,” Felder said on a recent interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “I have not been thinking about hanging the gloves up during training camp, or thinking I am out of contention for really making a run in this division.

“But it has been on my mind at 35 years of age, I’m turning 36 in April,” he continued. “My daughter is getting a lot older and she realizes when I am gone and missing me a lot more.”

Having competed against the best-of-the-best throughout his career, including tough match ups during his six years with UFC, Felder isn’t looking for just any fight moving forward. So when he does return, he wants a Top 5 opponent in a five-round headlining bout.

“I think at this point it’s safe to say that I am only coming back for things that really entice me. Things that will really make me train the way I did for this five-round fight, huge match ups that really entice me. Other than that, I will just do commentary and wait for that match up."

Furthermore, Felder revealed he has had talks with UFC matchmaker, Sean Shelby, and while he didn’t try to sway him one way or another, Shelby did tell Felder to expect a phone call from him down the road.

As far as what does entice him at the moment, Felder says a rematch against Hooker would be nice, but he isn’t holding his breath. Furthermore, he is more than willing to tango with Al Iaquinta after “Ragin’ Al” called him out shortly after his loss.

Whomever he faces next, fight fans will be pleased to know that they are still getting a bit more of “Irish Dragon” inside the Octagon sometime this year.