UFC Fight Night Predictions & Tips

Leigh Copson:
A general view of the UFC Octagon on fight night (Photo by Jason Silva/Zuma Press/PA Images).

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Paul Felder v Dan Hooker (February 22)

The UFC is returning to New Zealand for its latest UFC Fight Night card and the fans ‘down under’ are in for a treat when it comes to the lightweight scrap between Paul Felder and Dan Hooker. The 155lb division is easily the most loaded in all of mixed martial arts, with evidence being that neither Felder or Hooker are ranked in the top five despite the fact they are among the very best this division has to offer. That makes this match so important – whoever wins will move one step closer to a shot at the belt this year. That is not to say that the loser will suddenly plummet down the pecking order, but it would be a setback for them. So who will get the victory that propels them into the top five in the lightweight rankings? The bookmakers have installed Hooker as the slight odds-on favourite and he comes into this fight on the back of a first-round knockout of James Vick and a lopsided unanimous decision win over the teak-tough Al Iaquinta. Felder is not being written off though, and that wise because he too has beaten Vick during a two-fight winning sequence, with his most recent victory being a split decision success against Edson Barboza. This will almost certainly turn into a fire fight and for that reason I am going with Felder. ‘The Irish Dragon’ has been stopped just once in his career, when a doctor intervened in his fight with Francisco Trinaldo back in 2016, and we have seen him go six full rounds with Barboza. Why is that important? Because Hooker took a beating at the hands of Barboza before being stopped in the third round in late 2018. He will not be able to withstand the punishment from Felder so I am backing the ‘underdog’ here. The odds on Felder to win will bring a decent return, but if you are looking for a bigger price I suggest backing him to win by stoppage. Felder has not stopped an opponent with strikes since December 2017, but the level of punishment he could dish out here will rival what Barboza did to Hooker, and we all know how that ended.

UFC Fight Night Auckland Tips
Felder to win 5/4 Bet Now!
18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Odds correct at 12:23 GMT on 19/2/2020
UFC Fight Night Auckland Tips
Felder to win by KO/TKO or DQ 11/2 Bet Now!
18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Odds correct at time of writing