UFC 243 Results: Dan Hooker Impresses in Dominant Performance

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Dan Hooker UFC San Antonio
Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

The UFC 243 co-main event was a great showcase of Dan Hooker’s talents, as he outstruck Al Iaquinta for three rounds.

The UFC 243 co-main event is a lightweight scrap between fan-friendly fighters in Al Iaquinta and Dan Hooker. Iaquinta has approached the pinnacle, receiving a title shot on short notice against Khabib Nurmagomedov and putting forth a spirited effort. Since then, he’s defeated Kevin Lee and fallen to Donald Cerrone, his first non-title loss since 2014. Hooker is 5-1 in his last six, with the one being a brutal loss to Edson Barboza. Those six fights have been since he moved up to lightweight, which has been a great decision.

Hooker began the fight with a leg kick and Iaquinta responded with a big swing that went over the head of a ducking Hooker. The New Zealander stayed busy with the leg kick then ate a body kick from Iaquinta. The pair began exchanging hooks, and one wobbled Iaquinta. After eating a few more shots, Iaquinta began shooting for takedowns. He caught a kick that hit him below the belt, but drove through it for a takedown effort. Hooker sprawled and blasted Iaquinta with elbows. Iaquinta was rocked, and went for a guillotine, then got full mount, followed by back control. Iaquinta survived and stood up with little time, but his lead leg was compromised. A few desperate hooks came up short before time expired.

Iaquinta came out aggressively in round two, closing the distance and walking through shots. Iaquinta came up short on a few takedown attempts, then nailed Hooker with a pair of overhand rights. Hooker stayed strong, but was starting to get hit more. Another leg kick wobbled Iaquinta, then he went deep for a takedown. He nearly secured it twice, but Hooker’s takedown defense was too strong. When they returned to the feet, a right hook nailed Iaquinta and knocked him down. Hooker wasn’t able to get the finish as Iaquinta went for an ankle lock as time expired.

Down two rounds, Iaquinta came out aggressive, but his movement was limited. Hooker landed an inside elbow and a big right hand that rocked Iaquinta on separate occasions. Iaquinta was struggling to get inside the reach of Hooker. A jab stayed in the face of Iaquinta to limit his advances. Late in the round, another leg kick downed Iaquinta. Overall, an excellent performance for Dan Hooker.

Hooker called out the most recent title challenger, Dustin Poirier, for a bout in 2020.

Dan Hooker def. Al Iaquinta by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)

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