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UFC Auckland: Fired up Dan Hooker Explains Why He’ll be “Chinning” Paul Felder

Dan Hooker [1] and Paul Felder [2] weren’t booked to fight at UFC Auckland as a result of any beef. But, as the upcoming fight approaches, it looks like things have gotten a wee bit personal between the two.

Hooker delivers fiery warning following Felder’s latest comments

Hooker and Felder have been scheduled to fight in the headliner of UFC Auckland, which will go down on February 22nd in the New Zealand city. It’s a compelling match-up, not only because both men are aggressive, dangerous strikers, but it makes a lot of sense from a rankings perspective. Hooker is currently ranked #7 in the UFC’s 155 division and Felder is #6.

Well, as noted above, when the fight was first announced it wasn’t like Hooker and Felder were trashing each other through the media. But, recently Felder relayed that an intense staredown he had with Hooker at a media event was real, and that he plans to put Hooker away in front of his family and friends. [3]

Well, clearly those comments didn’t sit well with “The Hangman”, as Hooker recently told MMA Junkie [4] this:

“It’s definitely crossed that line for me,” Hooker said. “I didn’t feel that this fight needed any of that. I didn’t feel like this fight needed anything added to it, you know? We’re two of the best, we’re both just brawlers, we love to come in there and throw down.”

“I don’t think it was necessary, but if he wants to start throwing those things out there, I’m not going to sit back and take it. I’m going to retaliate, I’m going to bring the heat and yeah, it’s definitely crossed the line for me, gone into a very personal nature.”

“I’m going to fold that boy like a deckchair, I promise you,” Hooker said.

“I think it’s going to be a fast start. Whether it happens in the first or the fifth, I do not care. It’s up to him. It’s when he wants to take those risks, but I’m chinning that boy, I promise.”

Now, could Hooker just be saying this to help promote the fight? It’s certainly possible. After all, it wasn’t like Felder blasted Hooker as a fighter or made any controversial statements about him, or his team etc. But, if Hooker didn’t think Felder needed to make the statements that he did, then here we are.

Either way, this fight should be on anyone’s must-see list.

UFC Auckland line-up

Here is the complete line-up to date for UFC Auckland, which will be hosted by the city’s Spark Arena.

Paul Felder vs. Dan Hooker
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Ben Sosoli
Jake Matthews vs. Emil Meek
Magomed Mustafaev vs. Brad Riddell
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Xiaonan Yan
Jimmy Crute vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
Shana Dobson vs. Rachael Ostovich
Kevin Aguilar vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
Kai Kara-France vs. Tyson Nam
Song Kenan vs. Callan Potter
Jamie Mullarkey vs. Jalin Turner

Line-up via MMA Junkie. [5]