In the aftermath of the fight that left Felder with a red face and swollen-shut eye, 'The Irish Dragon' gave an emotional interview where he hinted at his possible retirement from the Octagon. However, from what his coach and manager told MMA Junkie, it seems like Felder is yet to hang up his fighting gloves.
Duke Roufus, Head Coach: Paul's not done
For the entire duration of the fight, it seemed like it would be Felder's hand raised in the end as he was leading in significant strikes as well as head and body strikes. But a great takedown towards the end might have changed the minds of the judges, resulting in a split decision win for Hooker.
In the post-fight interview, Felder said with tears holding back, that his 4-year-old child misses him during fight weeks, and he is not sure whether he would continue doing this anymore.
"Man, I got a 4-year-old at home that misses me every time I go away like this. I don't know... I’m not sure (what’s next), you know. I’ll still go back, I’ll talk to my family... I knew it was close. I feel like I hurt him a lot in the fight, but he got the takedowns, which is smart. He busted me up pretty good. That might be it for me."
However, it might have been an emotional statement made on the spur of the moment, and there is more fighting left in Felder, according to his head coach Duke Roufus.
"His retirement comments were in the moment. Paul's not done."
His longtime manager, Brian Butler of SuckerPunch Entertainment, also shared the same sentiment.
"Paul will be back. He said it to me in the back... Emotions run high, but Paul knows he won that fight and is not hanging it up just yet."
Felder also congratulated Hooker for the win, and later shared a picture on Instagram with him in the hospital.
"I don’t know. But congratulations to Dan. I knew this is exactly what I was in for when I came here to New Zealand. I pissed this guy off, and when you piss off a talented guy like Dan, he’s gonna bring it to you... it was an absolute honor to share the octagon for 25 minutes with this guy."Published 23 Feb 2020, 17:39 IST