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Paul Felder announces retirement on UFC Vegas 27 broadcast: ‘It’s not right to hold up division’

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UFC Fight Night: Nascimento v Mayes Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Paul Felder officially closed the door on his professional mixed martial arts career.

During Saturday’s UFC Vegas 27 broadcast, Felder, currently ranked No. 9 in the UFC’s lightweight division, announced his retirement from MMA competition. “The Irish Dragon” ends his career with 16-7 record throughout his pro career that began in December 2011.

“I fought some of the baddest dudes in the division and I want to thank all of them,” Felder said. “My apologies for holding up the division for all the guys behind me... I’m officially stepping down, it’s not right to hold up the division.

“I wish I had some gloves to chuck up into the octagon but I pretty much did that in New Zealand and I pretty much meant it back then and it’s been a struggle to get motivated to get back into the gym ever since.”

Felder seemed to be hinting towards retirement in February 2020 after an exciting split decision loss to Dan Hooker in the main event of UFC Auckland. The 37-year-old came back for one more, saving the day on short notice, to face Rafael dos Anjos in the headliner of November’s UFC Vegas 14 event, dropping a unanimous decision.

After he made his announcement, a video was aired giving the proverbial tip of the cap to one of the more game fighters to step foot in the octagon.

The Philadelphia native picked up nine victories over his 15-fight octagon tenure, including wins over Edson Barboza, as well as the current lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.