Efter UFC Vegas 27 i helgen annonserade Paul ”The Irish Dragon” Felder att han väljer att lägga handskarna på hyllan. På presskonferensen efter senaste galan gav han också en djupare förklaring till sitt val.
Paul Felder väljer att lägga handskarna på hyllan
Paul Felder (17-16) fortfarande är rankad som en av de bästa lättviktarna i världen när han väljer att lägga sina MMA-handskarna på hyllan. Vi på Kimura kunde skriva om nyhet tidigare, men Paul gav också en djupare anledning till varför han valde att gå pension.
I really waited until I knew,
After the [Dan] Hooker fight, it was kind of emotional and I lost the fight and I’m far away from home and it was a struggle. But then I did find that fire again when I got the [Rafael dos Anjos] fight. I went back and did camps and I was helping Sean Brady get ready for fights and I was hitting pads, I was lifting again, I was doing all those things and just slowly over time I started drifting back towards doing my own things and really just loving doing this triathlon stuff on my own, having time, seeing my daughter everyday after school, dropping her off at school. Training in my own little pain cave at home in the garage and getting stuff done.
I don’t think I’m going to get to the belt. I think this is the first time where I finally really think after those two losses in a row, watching guys like ‘Jacare’ [Souza] break their arm, watching guys like ‘Cowboy’ [Cerrone] fight five more fights than I think they should. I’m not going to be that guy. I’ve said from the very beginning of this sport, I won’t be that guy that fights past his expiration date and I think it’s here. I think it’s a touch early but I’d rather it be a touch early than a touch late.
Har inte längre samma driv
För Felder handlar det inte heller om pengarna. Det var istället att han själv insåg att drivet till den hårda träningen inte längre fanns kvar och då bestämde han för sig att lägga handskarna på hyllan.
If a brand new contract just handed to me by the UFC without even negotiating, after that RDA fight, they took my contract, which still had three more fights on it, threw it out and said ‘here’s your new one.’ It was a good one. It’s one I’ve always wanted or close to it. Obviously, if I keep winning fights it will get better but who am I going to fight? Who am I going to fight right now?
There’s plenty of guys below me that are amazing. Islam Makhachev, Diego Ferreira, Gregor Gillespie, yeah they can probably beat me, I can probably beat them, I’m not excited about it. Tony Ferguson, three-fight losing streak, not excited about that. Don’t want to do that. Don’t want to do a week in the hospital, breaking my orbital, breaking my face, puncturing a lung, more scars and cuts than I can even count. I don’t want that anymore.
That spark that I need to fight, especially the way that I fight, it just wasn’t there anymore,
If I’m not itching to even get to training to get to do this stuff and I’m getting fight offers. The only reason it took this long is I gave everybody a chance to really convince me. The UFC was really good and really patient with me.
Sean Shelby called me several times. Had a conversation with me to see where my head was at. We had this conversation twice now recently and the second one I finally called him back the other day, I was like I’m retiring on Saturday. I’m done.
Vill inte ta mer stryk
En annan orsak till pensionen är att han inte längre vill ta mer stryk.
I don’t want to get hit in the head anymore,
I don’t have any major health concerns right now that I’m worried about but I’ve been some battles and I’ve been in more battles than I’ve been in the octagon that I’ve been inside the room. I used to spar really hard and I’ve sparred really top-level guys for years and years and years and I’m creeping up closer to 40 everyday.
I want to be able to do sports and do other things and do activities with my daughter and play with my dog and do stuff like that.
Att i slutända tänka på sin hälsa tycker nog många (inklusive undertecknad) är ett smart beslut med tanke på så många krig han haft i oktagonen. Felder slutar sin UFC-karriär på 17 vinster och 6 förluster.