UFC Fight Night 168: Felder vs. Hooker Predictions


The UFC returns to Auckland, New Zealand for the third time and first since Mark Hunt finished Derrick Lewis in the main event. The card features a ton of local talent, but also a hell of a main event. Paul Felder and Dan Hooker are some the most exciting fighters in the UFC. Both men come to throw hands and put on a show for the fans.
UFC Fight Night 168 Main Card on ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Paul Felder vs. Dan Hooker – What an amazing fight! Two strikers who genuinely seem to not like each other for whatever reason. Felder is the more dynamic of the two, with his ability to throw spinning kicks, fists and standing elbows. Make no mistake though, Hooker is a beast in his own right on the feet. Great lower leg kicks and a real technician on the feet. I mean, he’s got one of the best snapping jabs in the business. As for my prediction, this is going to be a war and go the distance. Both men have iron chins, however I believe Felder has the pace and cardio better suited for a five round. Then again, Hooker has the better chance to land something damaging that changes the completion of the fight. With that said, I got Hooker winning via decision.
205 lbs.: Jimmy Crute vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk – Crute is excellent on the ground, but still learning on the feet. Oleksiejczuk is a force on the feet and his takedown defense is good enough I believe to keep this fight standing. In a struggle to get this fight to the mat, I see Crute eventually getting put away via TKO.
115 lbs.: Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Xiaonan YanKowalkiewicz fall from grace is sad and this isn’t a bounce back fight. This is potentially a pink slip fight, as Yan’s volume striking and aggression is going to swarm the Pole. Sadly, Kowalkiewicz once again loses, to the rising star Yan via decision.
265 lbs.: Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Ben Sosoli – This fight won’t last long. Sosoli throws leather and is apparently good at fighting to no contests. Unluckiness aside, he lacks technique in his striking for me to pick him here. de Lima has legit pop in his hands and if he shored up his cardio, he’d be a legit threat in the Heavyweight division. Cardio won’t be necessary here though, as de Lima knocks out Sosoli in the first round.
155 lbs.: Magomed Mustafaev vs. Brad Riddell – I don’t know much about Riddell, but I’m impressed with his win over Kenan Song on the regional scene. Crazy enough, that was his third pro fight and Song’s 16th. Anyways, I’m going with the Russian Mustafaev. He’s not the best striker, but he’s got some pop. His physicality and strength are his for a lack of better words, strengths. I believe that Riddell has yet to face anyone with the wrestling and strength of Mustafaev. So with that, I have Mustafaev winning via decision.
145 lbs.: Kevin Aguilar vs. Zubaira Tukhugov – This is a tough fight to call, but I’m going with Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s training partner Tukhugov. He had a weird last fight, but prior he narrowly defeated Renato Moicano who was a top five Featherweight at the time. Aguilar is a fun brawler, but he gets hit too often and every fight is too close for comfort. So with that, I have Tukhugov winning via decision.
UFC Fight Night 168 Prelims Card on ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Jalin Turner vs. Josh Culibao – This is a short notice debut by Culibao, who is a natural Featherweight. Turner on the other end is a massive Lightweight and despite his record, has shown striking chops that are aided by his massive reach advantage and power. In my opinion, this one won’t be pretty. Turner takes it via knockout.
170 lbs.: Jake Matthews vs. Emil Meek – Can Meek get a break? Jordan Mein, Kamaru Usman, Bartosz Fabinski and now Jake Matthews. The man’s a wildman and his UFC career is potentially going to end via wrestlers. I mean, he’s a willing brawler and in this day and age of entertainment, give the people what they want. With that said, Matthews takes this fight via decision, but don’t expect it to be easy.
170 lbs.: Song Kenan vs. Callan Potter – The odds on this fight are really close and I’m a little confused. Song is the better fighter by a mile. He’s got solid striking, with real finishing power. Physically he’s strong enough to fend off takedowns or scramble back to his feet. This fight ends early, Song via knockout.
125 lbs.: Kai Kara-France vs. Tyson Nam – I wish Nam would throw more volume, but I imagine with his frame, the weight cut to 125 pounds is tough. With his power, a pace and volume like that of Kara-France would catapult Nam to a contender. However, what Nam lacks, Kara-France doesn’t. So with that, I have Kara-France outpointing Nam via decision.
115 lbs.: Angela Hill vs. Loma Lookboonmee – Hill has been very active, with this being her 6th fight in less than a year span. After a rough beginning to her UFC tenure, Hill has bounced back with three wins in her last four fights. The last two coming via finish. While I appreciate Lookboonmee’s Muay Thai background, she’s going to have a tough time in this fight. Hill is the bigger fight and her reach, ability to keep distance is going to aid her to a decision victory.
125 lbs.: Shana Dobson vs. Priscila Cachoeira – This is a pick em’. Neither have had much success thus far in their UFC career, but Cachoeira has faced better competition and literally was fed to the wolf. I mean, who debuts against Valentina Shevchenko? With that said, Im going with Cachoeira via decision.

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