Hooker beats Felder in epic war at UFC Auckland
Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

Dan Hooker defeated Paul Felder by split decision in a back-and-forth battle in the UFC Auckland main event Saturday night. The judges scored the fight 48-47, 48-47, and 47-48.

The pair of lightweight contenders put on a show for the New Zealand fans in their first UFC headliner. Hooker found his range early on, which allowed him to outpoint Felder throughout the five-round affair. His reach proved to be a major advantage.

However, Felder, an elite pressure fighter, walked forward the entire fight. "The Irish Dragon" battled back in the later rounds, landing the harder punches and attacking Hooker with leg kicks.

The fifth round was very important for both fighters, as the bout seemed to be tied after 20 minutes. While Felder did more damage in the frame, Hooker landed a takedown with just minutes left, which seemed to sway the judges in his favor.

"The Hangman" has now won three fights in a row. He's likely in line for a top-five opponent, and he called out Justin Gaethje after the battle.

Felder saw his two-fight winning streak come to an end, dropping his first fight since the summer of 2018.

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Hooker beats Felder in epic war at UFC Auckland
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