Edson Barboza Faces Dan Hooker at UFC on FOX 31

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Edson Barboza UFC
Edson Barboza Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

UFC on FOX 31 has added a key lightweight attraction as Edson Barboza will meet Dan Hooker at the event.

Take Edson Barboza out of the Justin Gaethje sweepstakes. The lightweight has been booked against New Zealand’s Dan Hooker at UFC on FOX 31. The New Zealand Herald broke the news early Wednesday. Barboza vs. Hooker serves as something of a proving ground fight for Hooker, while providing Barboza the chance to bounce back from a recent, high profile loss.

That loss came to Kevin Lee in a hard-fought contest at UFC Atlantic City in April. In the main event, Barboza (19-6) had Lee wobbled, but ultimately found himself finished in the fifth and final round thanks to a doctor’s stoppage TKO. Prior to that the Brazilian had lost to future champ Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 219, meaning he will meet Dan Hooker on a two-fight losing streak.

The fortunes of Hooker (17-7), meanwhile, are vastly different. The New Zealand native has won four straight in the UFC, with wins over Ross Pearson, Marc Diakiese, and Jim Miller. Most recently, Hooker knocked out Gilbert Burns at UFC 226 in Las Vegas. Impressively, all four of Hooker’s wins on his current streak have been stoppages.

Can Hooker take the next step up in the division, with a win over the dangerous Barboza? Can the Brazilian bounce back and return to relevance at 155lbs?

UFC on FOX 31, which will be the final show on the FOX network before the UFC moves to ESPN in 2019, takes place December 15 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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