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UFC Auckland: Dan Hooker and Paul Felder come nose-to-nose during traditional Maori greeting (video)

The first time Dan Hooker and Paul Felder came face-to-face to promote their upcoming Lightweight showdown at this Saturday's (Feb. 22) UFC Fight Night 168 event in Auckland, New Zealand, their face off got a bit tense.

Their second go-around, though, was a bit more peaceful. And even if they wanted to bring the heat, they couldn't, as the two men recently took part in a traditional Maori greeting called hongi, where you greet one another by literally touching noses.

Hooker, who hails from New Zealand, explains the tradition of the Maori — who are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand — a bit more.

“The Marae is a place of peace,” he explained. “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.

“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,” he added. “So you have to abide by it. I have too much respect for the Maori culture to do anything silly or disrespect.”

Also on hand to take part in the tradition was current UFC Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, as well as Featherweight kingpin, Alexander Volkanovski.

The showdown between "The Hangman" and "The Irish Dragon" is a pivotal one, as it could get the victor a bit closer to a future title shot.

To see who else is fighting at UFC Fight Night 168: "Felder vs Hooker" -- which streams exclusively on ESPN+ -- click here.

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