Monday, October 3, 2022

Hooker Returns To LW, Meets Puelles At UFC 281 On Nov. 12

The UFC 281 card has further taken shape with the addition of another City Kickboxing standout, as Dan Hooker has been paired with Claudio Puelles.

On November 12, the MMA leader will return to the prestigious Madison Square Garden in New York City. With it will come a blockbuster middleweight showdown between champion Israel Adesanya and challenger Alex Pereira. But “The Last Stylebender” won’t be the only member of New Zealand’s most renowned gym to compete on the night.

Joining Adesanya and Brad Riddell — who is set to face Renato Moicano — on the stacked card is Hooker. “The Hangman” will look to return to form and maintain his place in the rankings against surging Peruvian Puelles.

The bout was first reported by Fordewin MMA, and later confirmed by Puelles’ management team, Iridium Sports Agency.

Hooker Looks To Rebound, Puelles Targets Ranking

Midway through 2020, Hooker (21-12) held a place inside the lightweight top five, riding a three-fight win streak and boasting an impressive 7-1 record at 155 pounds. But now, the New Zealander finds himself at a crossroads in his career having suffered four defeats in five outings.

After losses to Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, and Islam Makhachev left him a sizeable distance away from lightweight contention, Hooker sought a rebound at featherweight, where he began his UFC career. But at UFC London in March, “The Hangman” failed to find form in a new division, with Arnold Allen stopping him inside one round.

Having re-assessed his plans and re-committed himself to lightweight, Hooker will look to avoid the first three-fight skid of his MMA career when he meets Puelles (12-2). Unlike Hooker, “Prince of Peru” has been on a winning run, emerging victorious in five consecutive bouts since a loss in The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3 lightweight final.

After submitting Chris Gruetzemacher and Clay Guida in his last two outings, the 26-year-old Peruvian will look to move close to contention at the expense of the #13-ranked Hooker.

The current fights expected to take place at UFC 281 on November 12 are as follows:

Israel Adesanya (C) vs. Alex Pereira (middleweight championship main event)

Carla Esparza (C) vs. Zhang Weili (women’s strawweight championship)

Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler (lightweight)

Dan Hooker vs. Claudio Puelles (lightweight)

Dominick Reyes vs. Ryan Spann (light heavyweight)

Brad Riddell vs. Renato Moicano (lightweight)

Molly McCann vs. Erin Blanchfield (women’s flyweight)

Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar (lightweight)

Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Silvana Gómez Juárez (women’s strawweight)

Mike Trizano vs. Seung Woo Choi (featherweight)

Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC 281, Dan Hooker or Claudio Puelles?

Related Articles