What’s next for Dan Hooker and Paul Felder after UFC Auckland?

Dan Hooker, Paul Felder
Image Credit: @ufc on Twitter (photographer not listed)

In the main event of UFC Auckland, Dan Hooker was taking on Paul Felder in a very crucial fight in the lightweight division. The winner would most likely get a top-5 opponent while the loser would be forced to fight someone down in the rankings next.

In the end, it was Hooker who got the job done by split decision. It was a super competitive and close fight that resulted in both men being transported to the hospital.

Now, following UFC Auckland, here’s what we think should be next for Dan Hooker and Paul Felder.

Dan Hooker

Dan Hooker called for a fight against Justin Gaethje and that is exactly what should happen next.

Gaethje has been looking for a fight since his knockout win over Donald Cerrone last September. He’s been calling out Conor McGregor, but no one truly knows what is next for McGregor. Now, there is a rumor McGregor and Gaethje may fight in the summer but nothing is done at this time, leaving this scrap as an option.

So, a fight between Dan Hooker and Justin Gaethje could be a number one contender bout where the winner gets a title shot. It’s also a fan-friendly fight where it can easily headline a Fight Night card or be a worthy addition to any pay-per-view. If the fight happens, it should happen in the summertime to set up a potential year-end title shot.

Regardless, Dan Hooker vs. Justin Gaethje is the fight to make after UFC Auckland.

Paul Felder

Paul Felder may have retired following UFC Auckland as the teary-eyed American said it has been hard on his four-year-old daughter to see him leave time and time again.

There is no question this was a tough loss for Felder as, if the 34-year-old would’ve won, he would be right in title contention. But, the loss sets him back quite a bit where he said he needs to talk to his family on if he should continue fighting or not.

If Felder does decide to hang up the gloves, he had an amazing career that saw him beat the likes of Edson Barboza, James Vick, and Charles Oliveira among others. But, if he decides to continue fighting a scrap against Al Iaquinta makes sense, as Iaquinta has been calling to fight anyone.

Whoever wins between Felder and Iaquinta would be one or two wins away from contention again while the loser would become a gatekeeper at lightweight.

Who do you think should be next for Dan Hooker and Paul Felder after UFC Auckland?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/24/2020.