Home MMA NewsLatest News Matt Brown explains why it’s so hard for Paul Felder — or any other fighter — to truly stay retired

Matt Brown explains why it’s so hard for Paul Felder — or any other fighter — to truly stay retired

by admin
0 comment
retirement challenges

Matt Brown delves into the perplexing world of fighters and retirement, shedding light on the intricacies that make it exceptionally challenging for combatants like Paul Felder to bid adieu to the octagon for good.

In 2017, Matt Brown himself declared his retirement from the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), right after delivering a spectacular first-round knockout against Diego Sanchez. It was supposed to be his swan song. However, just over two years later, Brown made a surprising return to the cage. Why? Because, as he puts it, fighters are a different breed. They don’t simply retire and fade away; there’s an indomitable spirit within them that constantly seeks the thrill of combat.

“Never trust a fighter when he says he’s retired,” Brown quipped in a recent interview. “Motherf****** ain’t never really retired. That’s just a fact. We’re never actually retired. There’s always something that can get us back if you’re a real fighter.”

Brown, now 42 years old and a seasoned veteran, empathizes with the struggles of retiring fighters. He believes that the intense sense of loss that comes from no longer stepping into the cage is something all athletes share at the end of their careers. No matter how well they set themselves up for life outside the sport, that unique feeling of going to war with another man inside the octagon is irreplaceable.

“It was about six months later and I was like this f****** sucks and I want to get back out there and fight again,” Brown confessed. “That itch, when you step in there into that octagon and you fight another man, there’s just no way to replace that and there’s just a huge hole left in you. I don’t know how you can possibly replace that. It’s hard to find a purpose. It’s hard to find a direction.”

In the case of Paul Felder, after he hung up his gloves, he found solace in acting and became an integral part of the UFC broadcast team. While these roles may have provided financial stability, they also kept him close to the sport, making it difficult to resist the urge to fight once more.

“Paul Felder sits in that booth every week and watches these guys, and he’s an excellent commentator,” Brown observed. “But you know every time in the back of his mind he’s like ‘I could take that guy … oh I see the mistake he’s doing.’ So you’re studying these fights all the time, and you see all the mistakes, and you’re like I could go do that again. It’s like what am I doing with myself?”

Money, of course, plays a role too. Fighters can make significant paychecks that are hard to match in other professions, even if it means putting their lives on hold for a few months.

“You’re not going to get your [return on investment] on something else the way you can once you start making some money in the sport,” Brown explained. “There’s nothing else I can do where I can put my life on hold for two months and go make $125,000 minimum, potentially make $250,000 or $300,000, and you’re doing what you love so much.”

Nevertheless, Brown emphasizes that he took his retirement seriously, just as he believes Felder did. But something deep within fighters keeps pulling them back into the arena. It’s an identity that’s hard to shed, a relentless drive that refuses to let go.

“When he walked away, he probably had every plan to walk away,” Brown mused. “I did the same thing. When I retired, I had every plan to walk away, but when you’ve got that inside of you, how do you get rid of it? You’ve got to create an entirely new identity for yourself. You’re no longer a fighter. That’s not who you are anymore. That’s who you were.”

So, what’s the solution? Some fighters, like Joseph Benavidez, distance themselves completely from the gym and the sport to fully move on from their fighting days. It’s a path that might be necessary for some to truly embrace life beyond the cage.

In the end, as Matt Brown’s insights remind us, the journey of a fighter is a complex and deeply personal one. Retirement may signal the end of one chapter, but the story of a fighter’s life is far from over.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about retirement challenges

Q: Why do fighters like Paul Felder find it difficult to stay retired?

A: Fighters like Paul Felder struggle to stay retired due to the intense emotional connection they have with the sport, the unique thrill of combat, and the challenge of finding a new identity outside of fighting. Financial factors and their continued involvement in the sport also contribute to the difficulty of staying retired.

More about retirement challenges

You may also like

Leave a Comment