Who ought to be subsequent for Dan Hooker and Paul Felder?

Dan Hooker bought a signature win in New Zealand this weekend, his first headlining slot in his house nation. It was a hard-fought, back-and-forth split-decision win over Paul Felder in the primary occasion of UFC Auckland.

With three consecutive wins, Hooker is in prime place to get one other huge combat within the UFC’s most stacked division — light-weight. The Kiwi got here in ranked No. 5 on the earth at 155 kilos by ESPN.


Afterward, Hooker requested for contender Justin Gaethje. Is that the correct subsequent bout for Hooker? Or will Gaethje be indisposed with a unique foe, one with a excessive profile? And the way about Felder? He stated after the robust loss that he would possibly retire. If that does not come to fruition, the place does the Philadelphia native go from right here?

This is one tackle who ought to be subsequent for the UFC Auckland headliners, in addition to a pair of dark-horse choices.


Dan Hooker

Who ought to be subsequent: Justin Gaethje

Hooker requested for Gaethje, so give him Gaethje. The bout does make good sense from a light-weight division standpoint. Whereas Gaethje has conceivably earned a title shot, does anybody anticipate him to attend for the winner between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson? If Nurmagomedov is the victor in that UFC 249 bout April 18, he is not anticipated to combat once more till the autumn.

All fights from UFC Combat Night time: Felder vs. Hooker can be found to look at on ESPN+.

• Paul Felder vs. Dan Hooker
• Jimmy Crute vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
• Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Yan Xiaonan
• Ben Sosoli vs. Marcos Rogério de Lima
• Magomed Mustafaev vs. Brad Riddell
• Kevin Aguilar vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
• Jalin Turner vs. Joshua Culibao
• Jake Matthews vs. Emil Meek
• Callan Potter vs. Tune Kenan
• Kai Kara-France vs. Tyson Nam
• Loma Lookboonmee vs. Angela Hill
• Priscila Cachoeira vs. Shana Dobson

Watch the entire card on ESPN+

It is solely February now. And Gaethje is not precisely the ready sort. He has not fought since he stopped Donald Cerrone in September. Would possibly as properly have Gaethje and Hooker have a Combat of the Yr candidate — due to course it might be with these guys — to resolve the subsequent No. 1 contender at 155 kilos. Hooker has gained three straight and 6 of seven. He is an motion fighter, a finisher, and has greater than earned a possibility in opposition to the division’s greatest.

In fact, there’s one factor that would throw a monkey wrench into these plans. A slightly giant factor: the presence of Conor McGregor. There’s a likelihood Gaethje fights McGregor subsequent — that’s the combat Gaethje and his supervisor, Ali Abdelaziz, need. Nevertheless it’s unclear what McGregor’s needs are, and UFC president Dana White needs to carry him for the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson.

The light-weight division is about to get very, very attention-grabbing within the subsequent few months. And now Hooker has put himself proper within the thick of it. There’s an Australia pay-per-view occasion rumored for June, and that may be a extremely intriguing place to place the rising Kiwi’s subsequent bout.

Darkish horse: For example Gaethje does find yourself preventing McGregor. What then for Hooker? How about Dustin Poirier? He is coming off the title loss to Nurmagomedov, and it looks like his bid to combat Nate Diaz has failed. Poirier completely stays a top-tier light-weight, and Hooker wants a type of subsequent. Who would not pay to see these guys go at it?

Dan Hooker, left, earned himself a combat with a light-weight contender with Saturday’s rugged victory. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Paul Felder

Who ought to be subsequent: Al Iaquinta

This combat ought to have occurred already. Twice. It was first booked for UFC 218 in December 2017, however Iaquinta pulled out as a result of harm. Felder vs. Iaquinta was rebooked for UFC 223 in April 2018 earlier than chaos broke unfastened.

On that card, the primary occasion was speculated to be Nurmagomedov vs. Max Holloway for the vacant light-weight title. Holloway, then the featherweight champion, was changing Ferguson on only a week’s discover after Ferguson injured his knee in a freak accident. The day earlier than the combat, Holloway, identified for dropping a ton of weight the week of a combat, had his weight minimize stopped by the New York State Athletic Fee (NYSAC). That left the UFC with out a foremost occasion. Iaquinta was finally tabbed because the alternative to combat Nurmagomedov. Felder additionally supplied his providers, however Iaquinta ended up getting the nod.

2 Associated

Felder was left with out an opponent at UFC 223 after the adjustments. A combat between him and Iaquinta has not been rebooked since then. However now looks like nearly as good of a time as any. Felder had his two-fight successful streak snapped Saturday by Hooker, whereas Iaquinta can be coming off a loss to Hooker. There’s additionally a pure rivalry there, with Iaquinta being from New York and Felder hailing from Philadelphia.

Iaquinta has misplaced two straight and is discerning within the fights he takes at this level in his profession, as he ought to be. Felder, although, is the form of opponent that would get an increase out of him. There isn’t any doubt it might be a unbelievable combat, too.

Darkish horse: After the robust defeat in opposition to Hooker, Felder stated that may have been his closing combat. If that is the case, extra energy to him. Felder has by no means given lower than all the pieces he has in all of his UFC fights. Felder’s supervisor, Brian Butler, wrote on Instagram that as Felder was transported to the hospital Sunday in New Zealand, he joked that it is custom for him – win or lose, he goes to the hospital after his fights.

Felder is also a broadcast analyst for the UFC. There’s additionally that performing diploma he has, in addition to a previous profession as a critically acclaimed thespian. Felder shall be OK it doesn’t matter what he decides to do subsequent, even when it is retirement.

error: Content is protected !!