TODAY |

Dan Hooker to headline UFC Auckland event, Paul Felder confirmed as opponent

Dan Hooker's impressive performance at UFC 243 in Melbourne last month has seen him rewarded with a headline fight on home soil next year.

Source: 1 NEWS

The UFC announced this morning Hooker will headline the UFC Fight Night in Auckland's Spark Arena on February 23 when he takes on No.6 contender Paul Felder.

Since moving up to lightweight two years ago - ironically at the last Auckland UFC Fight Night, when he knocked out Ross Person with a knee - Hooker has climbed the ladder to sit seventh in the UFC's ranks while earning a 7-1 record in the weight class.

That journey took a massive leap in Melbourne last month when he put on a clinical performance to take down highly-rated Al Iaquinta in a unanimous decision win.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The Kiwi UFC fighter said fighting at UFC 243 on the same card as Israel Adesanya comes with a big benefit. Source: 1 NEWS

Now 'The Hangman' will be tested against Felder, with the 'Irish Dragon' known for his striking ability and electric fighting style that combines his black belt backgrounds in Tae Kwon Do and Karate.

Felder's most recent win was against none other than Edson Barboza - the only lightweight to have beaten Hooker when he took him down via TKO.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Hooker went down to Edson Barboza earlier this month. Source: 1 NEWS

UFC senior vice president David Shaw said the event should be a thriller.

"New Zealand is a hot market for UFC, led by the success of new unified middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, but also the likes of Dan Hooker and Kai Kara-France.

"Our Kiwi fans are some of the most passionate in the world and we can't wait to put on a great show for them."

Adesanya likely won't feature on the card with the middleweight champ expected to defend his belt on a pay-per-vew event in the US early next year.