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PAUL FELDER VS DAN HOOKER BREAKDOWN

PAUL FELDER VS. DAN HOOKER – BREAKDOWN 

The main event of UFC Fight Night 168 is a lightweight contender bout between Paul Felder (6) and Dan Hooker (7). It’s a fantastic match on paper; two top 10 lightweights riding two fight winning streaks. Hooker enters the fight with home field advantage, but will it be enough against The Irish Dragon?

Hooker trains at the lauded City Kickboxing gym in Auckland New Zealand, alongside current UFC featherweight and middleweight champions Alexander Volkanovski and Israel Adesanya, respectively. Daily training with teammates who perform at the highest level of your sport is a massive advantage, and will serve him well heading into competition. 

Despite training at one of the best gyms in the world and being in his own backyard for the bout, Hooker enters the fight a slight underdog. The reasons for this was on full display in Felder’s last fight, a split decision win over Edson Barboza. Barboza dished out punishing calf kicks, body kicks, and punches throughout the 3 round affair, while Felder took it well and gave plenty of damage in return. 

I had Barboza edging Felder in that fight, but it showed me what I needed for a prediction on this fight. Felder was a step slower than Barboza, but matched his power and volume. He’ll suffer a lesser speed disadvantage against Hooker. He also held his own in the leg kick department, an impressive feat. Hooker had no answer for Barboza, and had his legs destroyed. While Felder doesn’t have the roundhouse kicking ability of Barboza, I think he has enough to win that battle against Hooker. But Felder’s knees are nasty. 

Prediction: Felder Def. Dan Hooker, unanimous decision

It will be Felder’s inside boxing ability, pressure, punching power, and low kicks that prove too much for Hooker. Hooker tries his best to stay on the outside, but is punished for his attempts at kicking. He could slow Felder down with the knee if he can catch him coming forward consistently. That shot could be an equalizer, possibly forcing Felder to slow down and be more picky with his shots coming in. Hooker would do well against a timid Felder forced to stand at kicking range.  

The fight will be competitive, with Felder winning the majority of exchanges and controlling the center of the octagon. Hooker will try to use his speed and length to frustrate Felder, but will have trouble sustaining offense. 

Common Opponents 

James Vick 

Hooker def. Vick by KO 2:33 of round 1

Felder def. Vick by unanimous decision

Edson Barboza

Barboza def. Hooker by KO 2:19 of round 3

Felder def. Barboza by split decision

Paul Felder Vs Dan Hooker Breakdown

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