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UFC Auckland live blog: Paul Felder vs. Dan Hooker

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UFC Fight Night Felder v Hooker: Weigh-Ins Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

This is the UFC Auckland live blog for Paul Felder vs. Dan Hooker, the lightweight headliner for Saturday’s fight card at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

Felder and Hooker hope to climb into title contention at 155 pounds. Both Hooker and Felder have won their previous two fights; Felder is 5-1 in his past six outings, while Hooker is 6-1.

Check out the UFC Auckland live blog below.

Round 1: Referee Marc Goddard oversees the headliner. Hooker attacks the lead leg to start. Felder takes a few and advances. Felder takes a stumble on a missed spinning backfist, but Hooker doesn’t capitalize. Hooker goes over the top with a punch for his first solid connection. Felder takes another calf kick, then another. He’s clearly looking to land big punches, and he’s loading up. Hooker moving laterally and using his long legs to keep space. Felder starts working the legs, but he’s way behind on that front, and his punches are short so far. Hooker misses on a lunging knee, and Felder fakes low and goes high with a punch. Short again. So far, Hooker in control of the standup. Nice combo from Felder, who goes up top after body shots. Hooker comes right back before circling off again. Felder struggles to get inside, so he spins and glances with a kick. Hooker slips on a kick, and Felder locks him up in the clinch after charging in. Hooker turns him against the fence and slows things down before breaking off. More calf kicks, and Felder fails to connect after getting inside. Hooker refuses to be a stationary target. Felder lands a nice one-two at the end of the first bell.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Hooker.

Round 2: Felder’s right eye is almost swollen shut. He closes distance again and lets his hands go. Hooker comes back with more kicks and moves off again. Range is closer for Hooker this round, and he’s more keen to stand just outside of range and trade kicks and punches. So far, his reach is a big problem for Felder, who’s taking regular touches. Felder lands a nice left hook after getting caught with a pair of quick shots. Hooker’s jab pops him as he loads up. Hooker ducks under to the back, and he wraps a hook and goes over-under. The two are paused, not wanting to give up position. Felder scoots back to the fence, and Hooker lets go. Timing on strikes still favors Hooker, who catches Felder coming in with big hooks. Every time Felder tries to jam in, Hooker moves off. They trade low kicks, and Hooker follows with a jab. Felder spins and lands with a kick. He pushes Hooker back and narrowly avoids a lunging knee. Spinning backfist is good and he lands his best punches inside. They’re starting to brawl, and both are landing. Hooker is taking shots, but he’s also giving them. Felder, however, is receiving more physical damage as the fight ends with a quick exchange.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Hooker, who’s up 20-18.

Round 3: Felder again attempts to jam his opponent, and the two attack each other’s legs. Nice jab from Felder. They trade leg kicks again, and Felder follows with an uppercut on the inside. So far, Felder’s best round yet, and that’s because Hooker is giving him more opportunity inside. A shovelcut good for Felder, and the two trade leg kicks again. Hooker comes back off a combo, but Felder connects inside with a combo. Now, Felder is answering every leg kick. Hooker makes him pay with a stiff jab, and then then a series of stiff jabs that snap his head. Straight power punch for Hooker, and he’s now back to his best work, timing Felder coming in. That jab is almost always there. Felder returns with a straight right. Nice spinning back kick from Felder. Hooker ducks off a combo and tries to punch as Felder catches a kick. Felder closes for a takedown and is again turned against the fence. Knees up top, and they trade against the fence.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Felder, and it’s 29-28 Hooker.

Round 4: Felder nails the legs low twice, and Hooker closes in to exchange on the feet. Felder connects with a nice combo after an exchange, and he continues to press the action. Hooker goes back to his jab and moves forward, giving Felder the opportunity to fire off combos. Nice one-two, and Felder has hurt Hooker. Hooker changes levels for the takedown and smothers Felder on the fence when that doesn’t work. Action stalls in the tieup. Felder fires an elbow off the break, and they trade jabs. Hooker again ducks under and moves to the back. Against the fence, Felder attempts to turn into his opponent, and the action stalls again. Hooker backs off and Felder moves in pursuit. Another nice one-two for Felder, and Hooker circles off. Felder intercepts the leg kick and eats a shot to land two. Hooker counters nicely on the next approach and blocks a left hook. More big punches at range, and Hooker again moves for the takedown. Felder tries a few elbows in close, laterally and vertically, Hooker grabs and hangs on. Short time. Hooker shucks under the arms and fires off a knee at Felder’s back as the round ends.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Felder, and it’s 38-38.

Round 5: Hooker’s right jaw appears to be swollen. Felder closes in and trades leg kicks. Hooker tries to jab him away. Felder fires off that right hand, and he cracks Hooker hard off a leg kick. Hooker counters nicely inside, but Felder is willing to eat a few to fire off power punches. Another right for Felder, and Hooker continues to move laterally. Another takedown attempt from Hooker, and Felder pops up. Against the fence, Felder turns and fights the body lock as Hooker works knees. Hooker pulls back and trades shots in close with Felder. Another big right from Felder. They nearly both connect with left hooks. Hooker looks very tired, and Felder misses on a one-two. Hooker goes back to the jab, and he narrowly misses a huge combo from Felder, who spins and misses on a backfist. Big jab from Felder. One minute and Felder fires another big shot. Hooker pushes for the takedown and gets it with short time. He’s hanging on in guard, and Felder is trying to sit up against the fence. He gets up and misses a back take. They scramble for position, and Felder gets back to his feet with Hooker at his back. Hooker fires a few knees to the legs as time runs out.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Felder, who gets the 48-47 decision.

Result: Dan Hooker def. Paul Felder via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)