UFC lightweight contender Paul Felder isn’t going anywhere.

Following a back-and-forth war with Dan Hooker in their UFC Auckland headliner in February which resulted in a split decision loss, an emotional Felder hinted at retiring from the sport.

However, it is looking increasingly like a heat of the moment statement as over two months on, “The Irish Dragon” is itching to return to competition after the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end.

“After all of this, with what we’re going through, I cannot wait to fight again,” Felder said in an Instagram Live session with Jon Anik (via MMA Fighting).

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Of course, Felder doesn’t have to compete. He currently has a steady gig as a commentator for the UFC which could blossom into bigger opportunities down the line given the reception to his work.

But as a fighter, he misses the fire that comes with competing inside the Octagon.

“Dude, I’m on this bike, I had my manager Brian Butler send me all of these photos,” Felder said. “I texted him last night. I said, ‘Man, I’m feeling a little depressed. I’m missing my job, I’m missing my guys, I’m missing commentary.’

“I’m sitting with [my daughter] and we’re having a great time. The family time is great, but I just, I just miss that fire. You don’t realize how important that is in your life, especially somebody like myself or anybody like myself who’s an athlete that’s been doing this for so long. Or even someone like you, (Jon), that’s been working, making this company become what it is: You are one of the faces of this company. And to just have it stripped away from us it’s like, ‘F*ck, man!’”

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Like many, Felder is waiting for life to go back to normal, but he is also going to remain patient. And ultimately, when this is all over, he believes many will have an added appreciation for the world.

“F*ck, I can’t wait to get back to doing this,” Felder added. “But I’m also realistic. I’m not one of these people that’s like, ‘We need to just open everything up.’ I don’t want a second wave, I don’t want any of that stuff.

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“When it does come, I can not wait to wait to just (look around). I will never take this for granted ever again. I think that’s something we’re all gonna learn with this craziness, if anything.”

What do you make of Felder’s comments?

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.