“The Irish Dragon” Paul Felder: A couple of weeks ago we surprisingly lost a real one in the fight game. No, someone did not pass away unexpectedly in the ring or in a cage or anything serious like that; on the contrary, this legend left us on his own terms.
What a crazy concept, right?
This fighter met the absolute toughest opponent that they could ever face; themselves, and walked away triumphantly. In this case, former UFC lightweight striker “The Irish Dragon” Paul Felder dealt with the decision few care to face yet, he did it selflessly, quickly and on his own terms and conditions. He didn’t become a prisoner of a highlight reel knockout at the hands of some up and coming striker or get tapped out by a hot-shot jiu-jitsu prospect, he decided to leave the game admirably citing that he no longer wanted to, “hold up the division”. Also, let’s read between the lines here as we tend to do at Battle MMA, he may feel that he no longer has what it takes to swim with the sharks, therefore why embarrass himself and drown in front of a live audience?
Thinking back, you knew the retirement bug was planted in his head for a few years. It was growing uncontrollably like some wild weed in a neglected front lawn once he lost to Dan Hooker by split decision as the main event in New Zealand in February of 2020. In the emotional post-fight interview “The Irish Dragon” fought back tears as he shared with fans that full-time combat sports was taking away too much valued time away from his wife and little daughter.
So, we say farewell and wish him nothing but the best of luck in his future endeavors. Paul Felder is A fighter’s fighter. A man’s man. An ambassador to the sport (if there ever was one). Thanks to his respectful and honorable demeanor, and constant tough-as-nails attitude inside that famous Octagon. You don’t just KO Danny Castillo with a spinning-strike and go the distance with talented assassin Edson Barboza twice, and hold your own against former UFC 155lbs champion Rafael dos Anjos on extremely short notice without earning the utmost respect from fight fans around the world. And lets not forget, Felder has a TKO win over reigning UFC 155lbs champion, Charles Oliveira – not too shabby Paulie, not too shabby at all.
He showed us how to take a short-notice fight against a monster like Rafael dos Anjos and hold his own for 25 minutes. He continues to improve his commentary game, not just show after show but match after match. He balances being “one of the guys” and a pro analyst, getting genuinely excited on the mic as he thoroughly explains moves, attacks and game-plans.
Who knows what the cards hold next for Felder but whatever it is, we hope he continues to commentate UFC fights along with his super talented partner Brendan Fitzgerald and build their legacy as one of the best commentating duos, not just in MMA but in all of sports.
Thank you, Paul.
Check out Paul Felder’s Career Highlights in the video below: