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Paul Felder, Dan Hooker to headline UFC Auckland

Paul Felder, Dan Hooker to headline UFC Auckland

Paul Felder celebrates following his UFC victory

The UFC’s return to Auckland will feature a New Zealander at the top of the card.

On Wednesday, Dan Hooker announced on his Twitter page that he will be fighting in the main event of UFC Auckland against Paul Felder on Feb. 23 in Spark Arena.

Hooker is currently on a two-fight winning streak in the UFC lightweight division. He knocked James Vick out in the first round of their fight in July and defeated Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision at UFC 243 in October.

The streak comes after Hooker lost to Edson Barboza in December of 2018, a fight that saw Hooker take a significant amount of damage before falling to a body shot in the third round.

Hooker is 6-1 in the UFC lightweight division and is currently ranked No. 7.

This will be the third time that Hooker will compete in Auckland since signing with the UFC in 2014. He made his UFC debut in a featherweight fight against Ian Entwistle on the preliminary portion of UFC Fight Night 43.

Hooker’s lightweight UFC debut also took place in Auckland at UFC Fight Night 110 on June 11, 2017. Hooker knocked Ross Pearson out with a knee in the second round, earning a Performance of the Night bonus.

His opponent this time is the sixth-ranked UFC lightweight.

Felder is riding a two-fight winning streak of his own.

He defeated Vick by unanimous decision in February in their co-main event bout at UFC Phoenix before avenging his prior loss to Barboza with a razor-thin split decision victory in the co-main event of UFC 242 in September.

The wins came after Felder moved up to welterweight for a fight with Mike Perry at UFC 226, which he would lose by split decision.

In the lightweight division alone, Felder is on a five-fight winning streak with victories over Alessandro Ricci, Stevie Ray and Charles Oliveira, all three of which came by stoppage.

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