Lightweight contender Paul Felder has said he’ll continue competing in MMA but only if he’s offered big fights.

‘The Irish Dragon’ shocked fight fans when he appeared to announce his retirement in the cage post-fight at UFC Auckland. Felder had just suffered a highly debated split decision loss to local fighter Dan Hooker.

The 35-year-old admits to getting a little too emotional after the fight and assured fights fans as long as the right opponents are offered to him he’ll be back fighting in the near future. Speaking on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show, he said.

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“I think at this point it’s safe to say I’m only coming back for things that really entice me man. Things that make me train the way I did for this fight – five rounds fights, big huge fights with somebody who excites me. Other than that, I’ll just do commentary and wait for that match-up.”

Helwani the proceeds to ask Felder if he truly believes fight fans have seen the last of him inside the octagon. To which he empathically responded no and proceeded to map out future opponents and potential card positions.

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No. Obviously if something was to happen with one of these guys in the top five and they can’t get matched up the way the UFC wants them to match up. There has been some talk of Al Iaquinta wanting to fight me. You give me a five rounder with him and a big fight night or a rematch with Hooker, which will never happen but obviously that is one I’d take to get it back. Any of the top five, Al Iaquinta is a fun fight just because that fight was supposed to happen three different times and it never quite did and he has mentioned he wants it.  It would have to be a main event somewhere to make me even want to do that fight. I’m not coming back for the last fight on the prelims or even like the second fight of a pay-per-view.”

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Who would you like to see Paul Felder fight next?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.