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Paul Felder's retirement announcement led to a bizarre UFC lightweight rankings update

11th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards
11th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards
Sayan Nag
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Paul Felder recently announced his retirement from mixed martial arts, which has affected the UFC's newly updated rankings. Felder was ranked at #9 in the lightweight division when he announced his retirement mid-broadcast during UFC Vegas 27. In the UFC's latest rankings that were updated on May 24, Paul Felder has dropped two places to #11 instead of being completely removed from the rankings.

'The Irish Dragon' retired from the sport having amassed a 17-6 record and is looking forward to being associated with the UFC as a commentator and analyst. But this bizarre update in the UFC's latest rankings is bound to spark conversations about a potential UFC return for Paul Felder.

Paul Felder apologized for holding up the division

The recent update seems even more out of place as Paul Felder, in his retirement speech, apologized to the up-and-coming talent for holding up the UFC's lightweight division. Felder was ranked at #9 in the 155 lbs division despite having fought only twice in 2020 and losing on both occasions.

In his most recent UFC appearance, Paul Felder agreed to step into a five-round main event against former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. Felder took the fight on five days' notice and even made weight, but eventually lost the bout via decision. Prior to that, Paul Felder had dropped another unanimous decision to Dan Hooker in a contest that swayed back and forth throughout.

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Felder apologized to the fighters ranked below him, saying:

"I've always said that if I don't see a title picture in a year or so, I would retire...to save myself. I'm 37-years-old, I feel very fresh; I love the UFC with all my heart for everything that they have given me. I fought some of the baddest dudes in this division. My apologies for holding up the division to all the guys behind me...it's not right to hold up the division"

The newly updated rankings put Kevin Lee, Diego Ferreira, Drew Dober and Thiago Moises behind Paul Felder in the top 15 of the lightweight division. Islam Makhachev and Gregor Gillespie have moved up and are now #9 and #10, respectively.


Edited by Utathya Ghosh
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