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Dana White: Edson Barboza vs. Dan Hooker ‘should have been stopped earlier’

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Milwaukee-Barboza vs Hooker
Edson Barboza dropped Dan Hooker with strikes to the body in the third round.
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Edson Barboza returned to the win column in impressive fashion at UFC on FOX 31, stopping Dan Hooker with less than three minutes left on the clock in the third round Saturday night in in Milwaukee, but UFC president Dana White thinks the bout shouldn’t have lasted that long.

Barboza used his high-level muay thai to land several spinning back kicks and knees to Hooker’s body in the final round, but “The Hangman” just wouldn’t go down. At the 2:19 mark, Barboza landed a left hook to the body that finally dropped Hooker, forcing referee Rob Hinds to stop the lightweight contest.

In an interview with FOX after the event, White praised Hooker’s toughness, saying the New Zealand-native refused crutches and help to walk backstage after the fight, and was devastated with the loss that snapped his four-fight winning streak at lightweight.

White criticized the referee for what he considered to be a late stoppage, though.

”He’s got not to be upset about. He showed a ton of toughness tonight, a ton of heart,” White said of Hooker. “Fight actually should have been stopped earlier than it was.”

”And Edson Barboza? Wow,” he added. “That kid came out tonight and made a statement. He’s nasty.”

Barboza (20-6) scored his seventh finish since joining the UFC, improving to 4-2 since 2016. Click here to watch the highlights of Barboza vs. Hooker.

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