Paul Felder officially announces retirement

Paul Felder

Former world number six Paul Felder has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts after admitting he no longer has any 'desire' to step inside the Octagon. 

The 37-year-old American hasn't competed since losing a split decision to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 182 in November 2020 and has called to a halt to a ten-year career in which he became the Cage Fury Fighting Championships lightweight champion in 2014.

Fighting out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Felder (17-6) had already hinted before his previous bout that it could have been his last major appearance with the promotion. 

"I don't have that burning desire to fight up for many more years and become a champion," Felder said to ESPN. "I always said if I don't see that title picture a year or so into my future, I would retire and I would do it for my friends, family and myself.

"I'm 37 years old and I feel very fresh. I love the UFC with all my heart for everything they've given me and the opportunity they've given me [to commentate].

"I'm retiring officially from the sport of mixed martial arts."

Felder, who made his UFC debut in October 2014, will still continue to provide play-by-play commentary for the UFC's broadcast partner ESPN

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He also said that he will be able to look back at his fighting career with pride.

"I got as high as No. 6 in the world," he added. "I got pretty damn close to fighting for that belt. I fought some of the baddest dudes in this division and I want to thank all of them as well.

"I want to say my apologies for holding up the division to all those guys behind me and all you young guns out there who are chomping at the bit to get those fights, to fight me, to be able to get to fight for the belt. 

"Well, I'm officially stepping down because it's not right to hold up the division. I wish more people would do this. When it's time, it's time, and that's it from me."

Felder's highlights as a fighter include winning 'Performance of the Night' bonuses three times and successfully defending his Cage Fury Fighting Championships lightweight title for the first time against Craig Johnson in August 2014.

He also earned 'Fight of the Night' honours on three occasions thanks to memorable clashes with Edson Barboza, Dan Hooker and Rafael dos Anjos. 

Read more: UFC 264: Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 'could be biggest PPV in company history'

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