UFC Auckland in tweets
As the UFC visited New Zealand, we witnessed a new lightweight contender emerge in a fantastic main event.
But firstly, kicking off the main card was a lightweight bout between Brad Riddell and Magomed Mustafaev. The former found a home for his right hand from the start and Magomed struggled to land anything significant and resorted to takedowns which proved to be his best chance at getting a win. As we went to the scorecards, it was Riddell who got the win via split decision.
Next up was a pair of heavyweights as Ben Sosoli and Marcos Rogério de Lima faced off. From the off, both men were swinging with bad intentions and it was no surprise that the fight didn’t make it out of the first round. De Lima landed many shots but a left hook put Sosoli down and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.
Strawweights were on deck next as Karolina Kowalkiewicz went up against Yan Xiaonan. Yan was known for her punching output and once again, she put on a clinic against a former title challenger in Kowalkiewicz as she saw out a unanimous decision with a trio of 30-26 scores to improve to 12-1.
The co-main event was on deck then as Jimmy Crute faced off against Michał Oleksiejczuk at Light Heavyweight. Crute put on an offensive wrestling masterclass chaining takedowns and controlling the Polish fighter on the ground. As he got side control, Crute managed to grab an arm and lock in a kimura to get back to winning ways after dropping his last fight.
The highly anticipated main event was then finally upon us as top Lightweight contenders Paul Felder and Dan Hooker went to war in Auckland.
The first period mainly consisted of calf kicks by Hooker and jabs from Felder but it was the Kiwi who had the better of the first as Paul went back to his corner with a notable swelling under his right eye. The second period was close until the last minute where Felder was landing well and edged the round. “The Irish Dragon” was finding his way into the fight and was finally looking to get to grips with Hooker’s range. As we entered the championship rounds, the spirit of both men was on full display. The pair were bruised and battered with Felder finding more success with his left hooks to the head of Hooker. It was likely 2-2 as we reached the fifth and final round but with the bout being in New Zealand, Felder needed a big decisive round to sway the judges. It looked like it was going to be Felder’s night but Hooker landed 2 takedowns at the end of the fight which arguably won him the fight. Hooker took the split decision win to the delight of the New Zealand crowd.
Checkout the full reaction below
Dan Hooker vs Paul Felder
I think Felder.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) February 23, 2020
What a fight! Super close. I had it slightly for @felderpaul but congrats to both warriors @danthehangman … I really hope that wasn’t the last time we see Paul in there. But if it is congrats on a great career.🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾 #UFCAuckland
— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) February 23, 2020
Jimmy Crute vs Michał Oleksiejczuk
Nice submission by Crute 👏🏼 #UFCAuckland
— Niko Price (@Nikohybridprice) February 23, 2020
Yan Xiaonan vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Yan throwing the heat! #UFCAuckland
— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) February 23, 2020
Marcos de Lima vs Ben Sosoli
Ref said work…. then boom KO #UFCAuckland
— Julian marquez (@JMarquezMMA) February 23, 2020
Brad Riddell vs Magomed Mustafaev
Welcome to QuakeCity!!@TheQuakeRiddell
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) February 23, 2020
Full results below
Dan Hooker bt Paul Felder via Decision (split) (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
Jimmy Crute bt Michał Oleksiejczuk via Submission (kimura) Round 1- 3:29
Yan Xiaonan bt Karolina Kowalkiewicz via Decision (unanimous) (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Marcos de Lima bt Ben Sosoli via TKO (punches) Round 1- 1:28
Brad Riddell bt Magomed Mustafaev via Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Follow me on twitter: @ReeceManUFC
Follow the team on twitter: @MMALatestNws