Paul Felder announced his retirement from MMA earlier tonight (Sat., May 22, 2021) during the broadcast of UFC Vegas 27 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Felder, who was posted up cageside for commentary duties, took a moment before the heavyweight matchup between Justin Tafa and Jared Vanderaa to speak to UFC fans and put an official end to his fighting career. “Irish Dragon” said he didn’t feel the burning desire to continue fighting as a potential shot at UFC gold started to slip away. Felder also believed he’d be holding up the lightweight division if he stayed around.
“I don’t have that burning desire to fight for many more years to become the champion,” said Felder in his emotional send off (shown above courtesy of UFC/ESPN). “I’m retiring officially from the sport of mixed martial arts and from the UFC.”
“I fought some of the baddest dudes in the division and I want to thank all of them,” Felder said moments later. “My apologies for holding up the division for all the guys behind me... I’m officially stepping down, it’s not right to hold up the division.”
Felder, 37, was the No. 9-ranked fighter in the 155-pound division before making his decision to retire. The talented striker lost his last two Octagon appearances in exciting main events against Dan Hooker and Rafael Dos Anjos.
Felder will leave behind a 17-6 record (9-6 UFC) and six UFC post-fight bonus awards. His most notable wins came against Edson Barboza, Danny Castillo, and current UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.
For complete UFC Vegas 27 results and coverage click here.