Paul Felder is currently enjoying a life of commentary, but the former UFC lightweight contender would consider a return to fighting under two different scenarios.
Felder, who stepped away from MMA this past May, believes he is physically fit to return to fighting if he wanted to give it another go. However, “Irish Dragon” doesn’t feel the fire to compete like he used to, which is why he retired from the sport after back-to-back losses to Dan Hooker and Rafael dos Anjos in 2020.
Still, Felder is a fighter at heart and one that isn’t completely shutting the door on a possible return. A lot of things will have to fall into place for Felder to step back inside of the Octagon, but there are two scenarios that could end his retirement and give fans one more fight involving “Irish Dragon.”
“There’s like two scenarios,” Felder told MMA Junkie. “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.”
While Felder has long expressed his desire to compete against McGregor that scenario is extremely unlikely. Felder is an inactive fighter and McGregor is looking to score a title shot when he returns from injury. They couldn’t be further apart on the spectrum of potential opponents.
However, the second scenario is certainly a possibility. With so many Philadelphia fighters making their UFC push in 2021 - including Sean Brady, Chris Daukaus, and Pat Sabatini — there’s a good chance the promotion books an event for “The City of Brotherly Love” sometime next year. If that happens it could attract Felder to give it one more go inside of the cage.
That said, “Irish Dragon” is happy exactly where he is. He’s become one of the more respectable and consistent commentators UFC has to offer and continues to build on his promising career in broadcast journalism. It’s one of the main reasons why Felder was able to walk away from fighting earlier this year.
“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.”