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Dan Hooker vs. Claudio Puelles, Brad Riddell vs. Renato Moicano added to UFC 281 lineup at MSG

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A pair of lightweight matchups are set for the UFC’s return to New York City.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that a bout between Dan Hooker and Claudio Puelles is set for UFC 281, which takes place Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden. Fordewin MMA was first to report the booking.

In addition, Brad Riddell will also compete on the card as he’ll face Renato Moicano in a 155-pound showdown. Moicano’s management team KOReps first revealed the bout on Instagram on Friday.

Hooker, who joins teammate and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya on the fight card, will look to bounce back from a two-fight skid. “The Hangman” was stopped by Islam Makhachev and Arnold Allen in his two most recent outings, and has dropped four of five overall.

Puelles has quietly emerged as one of the lightweight division’s dark horse contenders with victories in five straight. “Prince of Peru” has picked up kneebar submission wins in two straight, and three total during his impressive UFC run.

For Riddell, he hopes to get back on track following back-to-back finish losses to Rafael Fiziev and Jalin Turner, while Moicano recently had a two-fight win streak snapped by Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision in a five-round bout at UFC 272 in March.

UFC 281 will be headlined by Adesanya defending his title against Alex Pereira, while Carla Esparza will make her first title defense since regaining the strawweight title against former champ Zhang Weili in the co-main event.

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