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UFC Auckland: Watch Dan Hooker & Team Welcome Paul Felder With Traditional Maori Greeting

Tensions between Paul Felder and Dan Hooker have been high leading up to their scrap this weekend at UFC Auckland. But, at a recent event, the rivals kept it respectul as they had a traditional Maori greeting.

Dan Hooker and Paul Felder have traded some verbal shots leading up to their fight this Saturday, and the two aren’t on the best of terms as a result. But, at a recent event, the lightweight contenders had a respectful, but still intense, exchange.

Hooker and Felder have a traditional Maori greeting

The fighters will battle in the headliner of UFC Auckland this Saturday, and at a media event in December, the two had a serious, staredownBut, as you can see by watching the video below, Felder and Hooker respected the Maori greeting ahead of their scrap.

Afterward, Hooker had this to say about why he kept things civil and honored the tradition during the ceremony (quote via MMA Mania):

“The Maori is a place of peace. You can’t bring any tension like that to a Maori. It would be incredibly disrespectful of me to push him or shove him or disrespect him in any way and deny the hongi,” he added.

“I am a man of respect and I had to give the hongi because I respect the Maori culture so much and I respect the people, this is their land and their culture. So you have to abide by it I have too much respect for the Maori culture to do anything silly or disrespect.”

UFC Auckland line-up

Here is the line-up to date for Saturday’s UFC Auckland card.

UFC Fight Night 168 Main Card on ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET):

155 lbs.: Paul Felder vs. Dan Hooker
205 lbs.: Jimmy Crute vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
115 lbs.: Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Xiaonan Yan
265 lbs.: Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Ben Sosoli
155 lbs.: Magomed Mustafaev vs. Brad Riddell
145 lbs.: Kevin Aguilar vs. Zubaira Tukhugov

UFC Fight Night 168 Prelims Card on ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Jalin Turner vs. Josh Culibao
170 lbs.: Jake Matthews vs. Emil Meek
170 lbs.: Song Kenan vs. Callan Potter
125 lbs.: Kai Kara-France vs. Tyson Nam
115 lbs.: Angela Hill vs. Loma Lookboonmee
170 lbs.: Maki Pitolo vs. Takashi Sato
125 lbs.: Shana Dobson vs. Priscila Cachoeira

*Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to change (line-up via MMA Mania)

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