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UFC 281 results: Dan Hooker finishes floppy Claudio Puelles with gut-wrenching front kick

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight finishers Dan Hooker and Claudio Puelles mixed it up tonight (Sat., Nov. 12, 2022) on UFC 281’s pay-per-view (PPV) main from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.

Coming into the 155-pound showdown, Hooker was in an odd spot, losing four of his last five fights (getting finished three times); however, “Hangman” was locked inside the cage with killers such as Islam Makhachev, Dustin Poirer and Michael Chandler, among others. Puelles, meanwhile, had won five straight, including back-to-back kneebar finishes, but the biggest “name” on his resume was Clay Guida.

So, was Hooker washed? Is Puelles the real deal? After 15 minutes of back-and-forth action, fight fans got their answer, with Hooker out-classing a clearly overmatched Puelles en route to a second round technical knockout finish (see it).

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YEAR-END PPV BLOWOUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) closes out its final pay-per-view (PPV) of the year on Sat., Dec. 10, 2022, with a battle for the vacant Light Heavyweight crown between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Jan Blachowicz, looking to stop the momentum of No. 3-seeded Magomed Ankalaev. In the co-main event of UFC 282, which will take place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, breakout star, Paddy Pimblett, intends to keep his momentum going at the expense of gritty veteran, Jared Gordon.

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

Hooker got the action started with some low kicks from both sides, with Puelles doing his best to check most if not all of them. He ventured upstairs, but Puelles blocked it. He pawed a jab, trying to get warmed up, but he didn’t throw a strike for the first two minutes. But, he didn’t need to ... he snagged Hooker’s ankle with a sweet Imanari roll. Hooker tried to pull his foot out, and there was a mad scramble, but Hooker was trapped in a heel hook. Puelles went belly down and was flattened out, but Hooker was not in any sort of pain. The crowd booed as he tried to sink it in, but eventually Hooker was able to slip his foot out and get back to his feet with 60 seconds on the clock. Hooker fired a straight right down the chute as Puelles flopped onto his back looking to play jiu-jitsu again, but “Hangman” wasn’t having it.

I don’t think Puelles threw a single strike in the first five minutes, and if he did, it was insignificant. So, within the first 10 seconds, he threw a straight left that missed, hoping to to turn it into a takedown. Hooker cornered him and started to snipe, with Puelles just diving for his ankles. Midway through the fight and he got one, but Hooker was able to get him off with a guillotine choke attempt. Puelles continued to flop on the canvas, hoping Hooker would follow him to the canvas, but all it did was irritate the crowd. He finally got in on a single-leg, but Hooker sprawled and brawled his way out of the position. Hooker drilled him with a hard body kick on the restart and Puelles didn’t like it one bit. He dropped to the floor and wanted Hooker to follow him, but he didn’t. Moments later Hooker landed a front kick to the belly of Puelles and he would not get up.

Puelles basically demonstrated that he’s one-trick leg lock pony, while Hooker returned to the win column for the first time in more than one year.

Welcome back, Danny.

Final result: Hooker def. Puelles via front kick in round two (WATCH HIGHLIGHTS)


Remember: MMAmania.com is delivering LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of UFC 281’s entire five-fight PPV main card RIGHT HERE.

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