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UFC Auckland results: Matches to make for ‘Felder vs Hooker’ main card winners

UFC Fight Night 168 went down last night from inside Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, on ESPN+. In the main event of the evening, Paul Felder and Dan Hooker collided in a Lightweight showdown that saw “Hangman” escape with a split decision win (highlights). In the co-main event, Jimmy Crute submitted Michal Oleksiejczuk in the very first round with a kimura (see it).

Winner: Dan Hooker
Who He Should Fight Next: Justin Gaethje

Winner of three straight and seven of eight overall, Hooker picked up a huge victory by taking out "Irish Dragon” in New Zealand. The win should be good enough to get him closer to a Top 5 ranking, which means bigger fights moving forward. A fight against Gaethje makes sense, as “The Highlight” was last seen knocking out Donald Cerrone and is currently the No. 4-ranked man in the division. Gaethje hasn been unable to lock down a fight for a bit, as he has his eyes set on Conor McGregor. While that fight is unlikely to come anytime soon, it would be in Gaethje’s best interest to accept this fight because it could get him closer to his much-desired shot at the strap.

Winner: Jimmy Crute
Who He Should Fight Next: Devin Clark

Crute got back to his winning ways after taking out Michał Oleksiejczuk via kimura, forcing the tap in the very first round. Up next for Crute, a fight against Clark sounds appealing. Clark was recently seen taking out Dequan Townsend at UFC Fight Night 167 in Rio Rancho, N.M., a few weeks ago, bringing his UFC record to 5-4. I like the match up for both men, as it will let us know who is closer to making the leap into the Top 15.

Winner: Yan Xiaonan
Who She Should Fight Next: Alexa Grasso

Yan picked up a huge win by defeating Karolina Kowalkiewicz in women’s Strawweight action. A like a fight against Grasso for her next challenge because it could get her closer to the Top 10 in the division. Yes, Grasso is coming off a loss to former division champion, Carla Esparza, but she still has a decent name in the sport and is ranked No. 13. By defeating someone like Grasso, Yan can start getting a few more eyeballs looking her way. Something that is long overdue, as she is now perfect inside the Octagon (5-0) and 11-1-1 overall in her mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

Winner: Zubaira Tukhugov
Who He Should Fight Next: Cub Swanson

Tukhugov picked up his fourth UFC win after defeating a very game Kevin Aguilar via knockout. I am really digging a fight between Tukhagov and Swanson next. Cub got back into the win column by scoring an impressive win over Kron Gracie last October, snapping his four-fight losing streak in the process. Both Zubaira and Swanson are currently on the outside of the rankings looking in, and need big wins to start making a move up. Stylistically, the fight could be bananas and a real treat for fight fans.

Winner: Marcos Rogerio De Lima
Who She Should Fight Next: Tai Tuivasa

Marcos Rogerio De Lima also got back in the win column after scoring a nice win over Ben Sosoli. It was De Lima’s first win in nearly 1.5 years, and a much-needed one for his confidence. A match up against Tuivasa would be another good challenge for Sosoli. This, even though Tuivasa has struggled as of late, losing his last three. That being said, Tuivasa has some heavy hands, and can turn things around rather quickly with one well-placed shot. I like the fight for both big men.

Winner: Brad Riddell
Who He Should Fight Next: Brian Barberena

Riddell picked up his fifth straight win — second under the UFC banner — after taking out Magomed Musafaev. A fight against Barberena could be fireworks. “Bam Bam” has competed at both Welterweight and Lightweight and is in desperate need of a big win. I can see him dropping back down to 155 pounds if offered this opportunity. I think a move down would be good for Barberena, as the 170-pound division is simply too stacked to make a move at the moment. And with two straight losses, perhaps a change in scenery would do wonders for him. Furthermore, “Bam Bam” is all about playing spoiler, halting Sage Northcutt’s momentum in what was just “Super’s” second UFC fight. If he can do the same to Riddell, it could be what he needs to turn his career around.

For complete UFC Fight Night 168: “Felder vs Hooker” play-by-play updates and results click here.

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