Dan Hooker TKOs Claudio Puelles gets back to his winning ways at UFC 281

Dan Hooker TKO’s Claudio Puelles, gets back to his winning ways at UFC 281

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us tonight, November 12, 2022, for perhaps the biggest event they’ve hosted this year in UFC 281, as the sport of MMA turned 29 years young today.

UFC 281 is to be headlined and co-headlined by world title fights, as UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (23-1) aims to defend his throne for a sixth time against fellow former kickboxing champion Alex Pereira (6-1), someone he went 0-2 against in kickboxing.

UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza (19-6) also aims to make the first defense of her newly claimed title against former champion Weili Zhang (22-3).

Opening up the main card tonight was a lightweight encounter between Dan Hooker (21-12) and Claudio Puelles (12-2). Hooker had gone 1-4 over his last five outings following a 7-1 streak from 2017 to 2020, while Puelles came into the bout on a five-fight win streak following defeat in his UFC debut back in 2016.

Continue reading to see how this epic lightweight affair went down:

Official Result: Dan Hooker def. Claudio Puelles via TKO (body kick) at 4:06 of round two

Hooker is throwing a wide variety of kicks early on; from round kicks to the legs, body, and head, snap kicks up the middle, and he’s controlling the center of the octagon.

Puelles rolls for a leg lock and ends up catching Hooker ankle, before feeding it deeper and deeper until he was past the knee. The two spend a couple minutes in this position with Puelles going for his signature kneebar, and later transitioning to an inverted heel hook.

Hooker did win his UFC debut in this position via TKO if anyone remember correctly.

Nonetheless, he ends up getting out of it and goes back to his striking to end the opening round.

Puelles is fighting quite discouraged in the second, as merely all he does is eat some strikes whilst falling to his back in search of more leg locks. Every time he gets hit, he falls to his back, and Hooker is neglecting to follow him to the mat. He lands a nice left hand but doesn’t follow it up with anything, and he’s dropped with a nice snap kick shortly thereafter.

Hooker lets him up once again, before dropping Puelles with another snap kick to the body and the fight was stopped.

One could say Puelles didn’t get himself any fans tonight, but this was a sizeable step up in competition for him tonight. On the contrary, Dan Hooker is back to his winning ways with a beautiful TKO finish at UFC 281.

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