Paul Felder lost a heartbreaker at UFC Auckland on Saturday, and in the aftermath, his face showed the damage from a five-round war against Dan Hooker.
“The Irish Dragon” was transported to a local hospital shortly after the split-decision loss, so he wasn’t able to attend Saturday’s post-fight press conference. However, he did appear to be in good spirits when he provided an update on his condition in a video on his Instagram story.
“I can’t tell what my face looks like right now, but it doesn’t look good,” Felder said. “I feel like I look kind of like (rapper) Action Bronson—is that his name?—because it’s so swollen. I should be the new host of [Bronson’s show] ”F—k, That’s Delicious”. Let’s get a campaign going for that. It would be a hell of a lot easier than fighting. Paul Felder, for F--k, That’s Delicious. Or at least the co-host.
“Hopefully, I’ll be out of the hospital tomorrow morning. Just staying here for precautions. Face is definitely broken, but we’ll get that fixed. My boy Jared Gordon’s had a few of these. He seems OK.”
Felder was far more somber during his post-fight interview in the Octagon at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. While he praised Hooker for his performance, Felder expressed doubts about continuing his own career.
“I knew it was close,” Felder said. “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.
“Man, I got a 4-year-old at home that misses me every time I go away like this,” Felder added. “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.
“Man, that was fun, brother. Five rounds going at it. I’m not sure, you know. I’ll still go back, I’ll talk to my family, but it was an absolute honor to share the Octagon for 25 minutes with this guy.”
Although Felder was contemplating the end of his mixed martial arts career on Saturday, his team told MMAjunkie.com that many of his thoughts were shared in the heat of the moment and the lightweight contender will likely fight again in the near future.
“Paul will be back,” manager Brian Butler said. “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.”
Added head trainer Duke Roufus: “His retirement comments were in the moment. Paul’s not done.”