Hooker books lightweight return, faces Claudio Puelles at UFC 281

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Photo credit: Twitter / Dan Hangman Hooker. 


It might not be the fight he called for a few weeks ago but it's a fight that Ngāti Maniapoto UFC fighter Dan Hooker will get.

Though officially yet to be announced by the UFC, many reports, including a tweet from Hooker himself, say "The Hangman" is booked to fight against Peruvian lightweight Claudio Puelles at UFC 281.

The card is headlined by fellow City Kickboxing teammate and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who defends the gold against the only man to beat him twice many years ago in kickboxing, Alex Pereira.

Dan is back! Credit: Twitter / Dan Hangman Hooker.

A few weeks ago, Hooker called out former interim lightweight champion and octagon veteran Tony Ferguson on social media to dance on the same fight card. The call-out drew in fans but failed to receive a response from Ferguson. It was then confirmed last week that Ferguson would be fighting someone else at a separate event.

Puelles (13-2) is in incredible fighting form, winning his last five bouts with three of them coming by way of submission, all by kneebar. The "Prince of Peru's" other two wins were unanimous decisions.

Hooker (21-12)  has only one win out of his last five against Nasrat Haqparast last year. looking to bounce back from back-to-back finish losses against Islam Makhachev & Arnold Allen.

Hooker won't be the only lightweight fighting, with teammate Brad Riddell (10-3) making the third City Kickboxing fighter to fight on the same night. Riddell is also coming off back-to-back finish losses.

"Quake" will face Brazilian Renato Moicano (16-5-1). His last fight, taken on short notice, saw him take a severe beating from opponent Rafael Dos Anjos in March this year but was able to make it to the end of the five-round match, losing by unanimous decision.

UFC 281 will culminate at Madison Square Garden in New York City, on November 13 [NZ time].