clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 243 results: Dan Hooker cripples Al Iaquinta, wins impressive decision

With Holly Holm a late scratch, the fight between top-ranked Lightweight contenders Al Iaquinta (No. 6) and Dan Hooker (No. 15) was promoted to UFC 243’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event tonight (Sat., Oct. 5, 2019) inside Marvel Arena in Melbourne, Australia. It was a match up of hard-hitting knockout artists that had the potential to spark serious fireworks “Down Under.”

It wasn’t the back-and-forth “war” that many predicted; on the contrary, it was a technical performance from Hooker, who took out Iaquinta’s lead leg early and then pieced him up en route to an impressive unanimous decision win.

Hooker opened up with a pair of low kicks as Iaquinta bounced around, feeling out his opponent and looking for an opening. He landed a nice kick to Hooker’s midsection and then a glancing left off the top of his head. Hooker landed a nice shot that got Iaquinta’s attention, then a low leg kick that took him off his feet. Iaquinta grabbed a leg off a kick and used it to takedown Hooker, but it was Hooker who was able to take advantage most, drilling Iaquinta with short elbows in the ear. Hooker was able to get to Iaquinta’s back and angled for a rear-naked choke that Iaquinta was able to expertly defend. Iaquinta eventually got back to his feet, but Hooker bounced a jab off his nose and dropped him with another low leg kick. The pair traded shots at the bell, but the first round was all Hooker.

Hooker continued to assault Iaquinta’s lead leg to open round two. Iaquinta tried to close the distance, but Hooker was using his length to keep Iaquinta at his preferable distance. Iaquinta charged in with a combination, but nothing connected on the first barrage. He finally found a home on his second attempt, but Hooker remained cool and collected. Iaquinta connected with a hard left hook, but Hooker appeared unaffected. Iaquinta had to eventually switch stances because his lead leg was clearly bothering him from all the low kicks. Iaquinta dove in for a takedown, but Hooker was able to reverse it and the pair eventually returned to the center of the cage. While there Hooker dropped Iaquinta with a huge right hook! Iaquinta scooted to his butt as Hooker followed him to the floor, but there was not enough time left in the round to finish the job.

Third and final round and Iaquinta needed a stoppage to score a come-from-behind victory. But it was Hooker who connected early with a hard right upstairs as Iaquinta limped around the cage in discomfort. Iaquinta was lunging in with punches, while Hooker was landing hard shots at perfect range that were hurting Iaquinta. Blood began to stream from his nose as Hooker started to pile up the points behind his jab. Iaquinta continued to look for his Hail Mary shot, but it never came. Hooker was just too technical, picking apart Iaquinta from range for essentially 15 minutes.

It was a huge win for Hooker, who called out Dustin Poirier in his post-fight speech. That might be too much too soon, but he’s certainly on the cusp of cracking the Top 10 after a solid performance against a very game opponent.

Remember that MMAmania.com is delivering LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 243 fight card this tonight right HERE, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 243: “Whittaker vs. Adesanya” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania