UFC Auckland Results: Dan Hooker Takes Wild Split Decision from Paul Felder

0
Dan Hooker UFC Auckland UFC San Antonio
Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

Dan Hooker and Paul Felder left it all on the line in the main event of UFC Auckland, with Hooker winning the grueling split decision.

Two of the UFC’s grittiest lightweights collided in the main event of UFC Auckland on Saturday. Paul Felder and Dan Hooker had both become fan favorites, thanks to their aggressive, push-forward, never-back-down styles. Something would have to give for one man come Saturday, however — with a berth in the upper echelon of the 155lb divisino potentially on the line.

It was an intense start with no glove touch. Both fighters were whipping leg kicks to start it off. Felder came up short on a spinning backfist and lost balance in the process but nothing came of it. A left hook caught Dan Hooker in the chin. Hooker was happy to keep hunting for leg kicks. It was Paul Felder, though, who swept Hooker off his feet with a leg kick. It led to a clinch battle that lasted the remainder of the round.

Hooker started the second round with consistent leg kicks. Felder did land a pair of hooks, but Hooker was in control utilizing great range management. Hooker got a hold of Hooker’s back on the feet, but wasn’t able to drag Felder down. Felder broke free and ramped up the aggression. A spinning backfist landed as well as several heavy hooks. Hooker landed a stiff jab, and was still in control.

Felder continued the momentum he had in the third. He began pounding away at leg kicks and the left hand was landing for him. Hooker’s jab was on the money though and was staying in the face of Felder. Hooker slowed him down with the jab, and clinched against the cage to end the round.

Felder picked up the pace in the fourth round. He began firing away with hooks while Hooker’s jab continued to land. A left and a right landed for Felder, then another. Hooker ducked under a right and drove Felder across the cage against the fence. The clinch did not lead to anything and another slick combo landed for Felder. A tight right hook caught Hooker on the chin. Hooker pushed him against the cage and ate an elbow in the process. That was where the round came to an end.

Felder’s late push continued in the fifth. His power shots continued to find a home and the jab output from Hooker waned. He changed levels and drove Felder to the fence. A combination landed for Hooker after they separated, then another. A right straight connected again for Felder. Hooker then drove Felder to the canvas with an important late takedown. A scramble led to Hooker taking the back, then half guard, riding out the fight in top position.

Dan Hooker def. Paul Felder by Split Decision (48-47 x2, 47-48)

Leave a Reply