UFC Fight Night 168: Felder vs Hooker - Odds and Predictions

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How to Watch

Where: Spark Arena – Auckland, New Zealand

When: Saturday, February 22, 7 PM EST

How (TV): UFC Fight Pass, Watch on ESPN+ here!

Paul Felder vs Dan Hooker – Lightweight Division

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SportsbookFelderHooker
William Hill NJ+125-150
DraftKings+125-152

Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder (17-4)

Height: 5 ft. 11 in.

Reach: 70.5 in.

Age: 34

Paul Felder has been a mainstay in the UFC since 2014 and even fills in as a color commentator for many of the UFC live events.

After winning three fights in a row (all by TKO) in 2017, Felder was beaten by Mike Perry in 2018.

Felder would recover beautifully, returning to the lightweight division to take on James Vick. Despite suffering a collapsed lung in the fight, Felder was still able to eke out a unanimous decision victory.

He won his next, and most recent fight, against Edson Barboza. Although slightly controversial, Felder was awarded the split-decision victory over Barboza at UFC 242, avenging his 2015 loss.

The Pennsylvania native is mostly known for his striking abilities, training taekwondo, karate, and muay thai with the Roufusport gym.

Felder has a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a black belt in karate, and a second-degree black belt in taekwondo. He has been fighting professionally since 2011 and is ranked as the UFC’s sixth-best lightweight. This will be the first fight on his new, multi-year contract extension with the UFC.

Dan “The Hangman” Hooker (19-8)

Height: 6 ft.

Reach: 75 in.

Age: 30

The last man to defeat Dan Hooker was Edson Barboza – the last man that Paul Felder has beaten.

That loss came back in 2018. Since then, Hooker has fought James Vick, whom he defeated via first-round KO, and former lightweight title challenger Al Iaquinta, whom he defeated via unanimous decision at UFC 243.

Like Felder, Dan Hooker has been fighting for the UFC since 2014.

The hometown hero of this card, Dan Hooker trains out of his home country of New Zealand with the “gym of the year” City Kickboxing with head coach Eugene Bareman.

He also trains muay thai with Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand. Fighting professionally since 2009, Hooker has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is currently ranked as the number-seven best lightweight in the UFC.

Hype around this fight first started in 2018 following a Dan Hooker win over Jim Miller. Paul Felder conducted Hooker’s post-fight interview where Hooker extended a “gentleman’s challenge” to Felder, which Felder seemed to agree to.

It didn’t immediately materialize and then injuries got in the way. The fight was put on hold. Now, after a war of words and a heated staredown during fight promotion, the two will finally go head-to-head this Saturday night.

Jimmy Crute vs Michal Oleksiejczuk – Light Heavyweight Division

SportsbookCruteOleksiejczuk
William Hill NJ+115-135
DraftKings+110-137

Jimmy “The Brute” Crute (10-1)

Height: 6 ft. 2 in.

Reach: 72.5 in.

Age: 23

Jimmy Crute was an undefeated fighter when he debuted on the Dana White Contender Series.

He defeated Chris Birchler via TKO in the first round to earn his spot on the UFC roster. He won his first two UFC fights against Paul Craig and sam Alvey before suffering his first professional loss at the hands of Misha Cirkunov, who submitted Crute last September in the first-round of their fight.

An Australian-native, Crute trains out of Stewie’s House of BJJ under head coach Sam Greco. Crute has been fighting professionally since 2016 and has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Michal “Lord” Oleksiejczuk (14-3-1)

Height: 6 ft.

Reach: 74 in.

Age: 24

Michal Oleksiejcuk started his UFC career in 2017 but it wasn’t without controversy. Originally beating Khalil Rountree in his UFC debut, the fight was eventually overturned when the Polish fighter tested positive for clomiphene.

He bounced back by winning his next two fights in 2019, one by KO and one by TKO. His last fight took place last September where he suffered a second-round submission loss to Ovince St. Preux.

The Polish-born Oleksiejczuk trains out of his home country at the GKS Górnik Łęczna MMA gym. He has been active in MMA since 2014 and has a wrestling-heavy fighting style.

Ben Sosoli vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima – Heavyweight Division

SportsbookSosoliLima
William Hill NJ+125-150
DraftKings+120-150

Ben “Combat Wombat” Sosoli (7-2, 2 no-contest)

Height: 6 ft.

Reach: 74 in.

Age: 30

Ben Sosoli has had, potentially, the strangest start to a UFC career in the history of the sport.

Sosoli fought on the Dana White Contender Series against Dustin Joynson but the fight was ruled a no-contest due to an eye gouge.

The UFC brought him into the fold regardless and he was put up against infamous heavyweight and former NFL-er Greg Hardy.

However, that fight was also ruled as a no-contest after Greg Hardy illegally used an inhaler between the second and third rounds.

Sosoli is a native of Australia and trains at the Resilience Training Centre.

He trains with his head coach Daniel Kelly and is known predominantly for his judo style of fighting.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima (16-6-1)

Height: 6 ft. 2 in.

Reach: 75 in.

Age: 34

Marcos Rogerio de Lima has been with the UFC since 2014.

Since winning his debut against Igor Pokrajac, de Lima has quite literally traded wins and losses. He is 4-4 under the UFC banner.

His last fight was held in February 2019 where he took on the UFC’s tallest fighter, Stefan Struve. Struve submitted de Lima in the second round of their bout.

Fighting professionally since 2009, the Brazilian-born de Lima fights out of Sao Paulo, Brazil with the 011 MMA Team.

He has also worked with American Top Team in the past. He has fought across three different weight classes in his career and is a former participant of the Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Yan Xiaonan – Women’s Strawweight Division

Bet $50 Get $50 (in cash) by using the promo code WSN50 on William Hill.

SportsbookKowalkiewiczXiaonan
William Hill NJ+200-240
DraftKings-225+175

Karolina “Polish Princess” Kowalkiewicz (12-5)

Height: 5 ft. 3 in.

Reach: 64 in.

Age: 34

Karolina Kowalkiewicz was an undefeated professional fighter when she got her first crack at UFC gold against then-champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Kowalkiewicz would lose that bout via unanimous decision and her career has yet to recover. Since that title fight, Kowalkiewicz has gone just 2-4 in the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight losing streak.

Her last bout took place at UFC 238 where she lost a unanimous decision to Alexa Grasso.

The Polish fighter has been fighting since 2012 and trains in her home country at the Shark Top Team Lodz gym.

She has a muay thai background and is currently ranked as the 14th-best women’s strawweight in the world.

Yan “Fury” Xiaonan (11-1-1)

Height: 5 ft. 5 in.

Reach: 63 in.

Age: 30

Yan Xiaonan has four UFC fights under her belt and she has won them all.

Xiaonan is the first female Chinese fighter signed by the organization and she made her debut in 2017, defeating Kailin Curran by unanimous decision.

She has won all four of her UFC bouts by decision and most recently beat Angela Hill at UFC 238 last June.

A former atomweight fighter, Xiaonan trains out of Beijing, China with China Top Team. She is known predominantly for her sanda and BJJ techniques.

She has been fighting professionally since 2009 and a win over Kowalkiewicz should she gain official ranking by the UFC.

Magomed Mustafaev vs Brad Riddell – Lightweight Division

SportsbookMustafaevRidell
William Hill NJ-125+105
DraftKings-130+105

Magomed Mustafaev (15-2)

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.

Reach: 71 in.

Age: 31

Magomed Mustafaev has had a solid run since joining the UFC in 2015.

He entered the UFC after defeating Khabib Nurmagomedov’s brother in a tournament in his home country.

He debuted for the UFC against Piotr Hallmann, who he defeated via second-round TKO due to a doctor’s stoppage.

He followed that with a TKO win over Joe Proctor before being submitted by Kevin Lee in 2016. In 2019 he bounced back with a win over Rafael Fiziev. He won the fight via first-round TKO.

Mustafaev is another popular Russian-born fighter who has spent time training with American Top Team.

He currently trains with the Sochi Star Club in his home country. The southpaw fighter took three years off between his loss to Kevin Lee and his 2019 return. He is a southpaw fighter that has yet to be ranked by the UFC.

Brad “Quake” Riddell (7-1)

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.

Reach: 71.3 in.

Age: 28

Brad Riddell will be making just his second appearance for the UFC Saturday night. He debuted for the promotion at UFC 243 where he took on Jamie Mullarkey. He defeated Mullarkey via unanimous decision.

Riddell is a native to New Zealand although he spends much of his time training in Phuket, Thailand with Tiger Muay Thai – the gym widely renowned for training fighters such as strawweight champion Valentina Shevchenko and Darren Till.

He is currently riding a four-fight winning streak.

Kevin Aguilar vs Zubaira Tukhugov – Flyweight Division

SportsbookAguilarTukhugov
William Hill NJ-110-110
DraftKings-118-106

Kevin Aguilar (17-2)

Height: 5 ft. 7 in.

Reach: 72 in.

Age: 31

Kevin Aguilar is another member of the Dana White Contender Series alum.

After defeating Joey Gomez via split-decision on the show, Aguilar made his UFC debut in November 2018 and won his first two fights in a row for the promotion.

He last fought in June 2019 where he took on rising star Dan Ige. The bout would mark Aguilar’s first loss in the promotion, and only the second loss of his career, as he dropped a unanimous decision to Ige.

Fighting professionally since 2010, the American-born Aguilar has been training out of Longview, Texas with the Longview MMA gym.

He is a former LFA featherweight champion and is currently unranked in the UFC featherweight division.

Zubaira Tukhugov (18-4-1)

Height: 5 ft. 8 in.

Reach: 72.5 in.

Age: 29

Zubaira Tukhugov has fought on and off for the UFC promotion since making his debut in 2013.

Tukhugov went undefeated through 2016, amassing four straight wins, before suffering his first defeat in the company at the hands of Renato Moicano, who defeated him via split-decision. Tukhugov last fought in September 2019.

He faced off against Lerone Murphy at UFC 242 and the bout was declared a split-draw – the first of his career.

Tukhugov rose to fame as a training partner of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and was involved in the now infamous post-fight scuffle following the title bout between the champ and Conor McGregor.

Tukhugov was suspended by the UFC for his involvement. The Russian-born fighter trains with the likes of Khabib at the American Top Team gym and has been fighting professionally since 2010.

He has a master of sport in Sambo and hand-to-hand combat. He, too, is currently unranked by the UFC.

UFC Fight Night 167: Anderson vs Blachowicz II – Results

Jan Blachowicz def. Corey Anderson via KO (Round 1)

Diego Sanchez def. Michel Perreira via DQ (illegal knee)

Montana De La Rosa def. Mara Romero Borella via unanimous decision

Brok Weaver def. Kazula Vargas via DQ (illegal knee)

Ray Borg def. Rogerio Bontorin via unanimous decision

Lando Vannata def. Yancy Medeiros via unanimous decision

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