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UFC Fight Night 168: Felder vs Hooker Odds and Picks

UFC Fight Night 168: Felder vs Hooker Odds + Picks

UFC Fight Night 168 marks the return of the UFC to Auckland, New Zealand, as the Octagon sets up at Spark Arena. Headlining the card are a pair of hard-hitting lightweights as Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder takes on Dan “The Hangman” Hooker. The winner of this bout quickly enters the conversation of No. 1 contender, with Hooker set as the -160 favorite and Felder coming back as a +130 underdog.

UFC Fight Night 168: Felder vs Hooker
  • Date/Time: February 22, 7 p.m. ET
  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Arena: Spark Arena
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+

Paul Felder vs Dan Hooker

Felder (+130) has been on a tear recently, winning five of his last six bouts, falling only to Mike Perry by split decision in 2018 in the welterweight division – oh, and he broke his arm early in that fight. A similar story can be written about Hooker (-160), who has won six of his last seven fights, with his lone loss coming via knockout to Edson Barboza in December 2018. Both competitors already have wins against top-five fighters in the lightweight division.

The Irish Dragon is an extremely aggressive fighter and has a chin of steel. Felder varies his attack with kicks, powerful punches and slicing elbows, and his willingness to get in a brawl is always entertaining. Don’t expect him to try to drag the fight to the floor, having not secured a takedown in eight fights dating back to 2016. Hooker is a long fighter who utilizes a good jab and kicks to keep his opponents at bay, but sometimes he gets a little off balance looking for the home run shot to put his foes to sleep. He likes to be the aggressor and had some issues with the forward pressure from Edson Barboza and may suffer similar issues with Felder.

Prediction: Paul Felder (+130) via decision

Paul Felder vs Dan Hooker Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Paul Felder+130
Dan Hooker-160

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Jimmy Crute vs Michal Oleksiejczuk

A pair of fighters coming off losses their last time out will look to get back on track in the co-main event. Jimmy “The Brute” Crute (+105) saw his perfect 10-0 record come to an end with his first-round submission loss to Misha Cirkunov last September. Similarly, “Lord” Oleksiejczuk (-135) had his 12-fight unbeaten streak snapped with his second-round submission loss to Ovince Saint Preux, also last September.

Crute is a very patient fighter, slowly inching forward before exploding with a powerful combination. With his calm demeanor in the cage, he does a tremendous job landing his strikes while quickly getting out of danger and not absorbing much damage. He lands 4.56 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 2.41. Oleksiejczuk, on the other hand, is an extremely aggressive fighter who essentially bull-rushes opponents throwing wild hooks looking to put them to sleep. Due to his high output (5.39 significant strikes per minute), he tends to slow after the first round and his punches become a little more wild and loopy.

Prediction: Jimmy Crute (+105) via decision

Jimmy Crute vs Michal Oleksiejczuk Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Jimmy Crute+105
Michal Oleksiejczuk-135

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Yan Xiaonan

In the midst of the worst losing streak of her career, Kowalkiewicz (+215) has dropped her last three fights and five of her last seven. The start of her losing ways came at UFC 205 when she challenged Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title and suffered her first pro loss. Looking to pile on another defeat is Yan “Fury” Xiaonan (-275), who is undefeated in her last 10 fights and has won her first four in the UFC.

Kowalkiewicz likes to take the center of the Octagon and slowly back down her opponents, hoping to bait them into throwing a strike so she can fire back with a crisp combination. A drawback for the Poland native is that sometimes she is caught watching her opponents, standing in striking range but not throwing, which results in her getting hit without inflicting any damage the other way. Xiaonan has tremendous footwork, varying her attack from leading the dance to being a counter-striker. She has accurate strikes and is quite active, averaging 6.85 significant strikes per minute, but she also absorbs 4.22.

Prediction: Yan Xiaonan (-275) via decision

Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Yan Xiaonan Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Karolina Kowalkiewicz+215
Yan Xiaonan-275

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Ben Sosoli vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima

Following back-to-back no decisions, Ben “Combat Wombat” Sosoli (+125) looks to get an official decision this time and ideally a favorable one. Hoping to spoil those aspirations is Marcos Rogerio “Pezao” de Lima (-155), who has been on a win-one, lose-one streak over his last eight fights and is coming off a submission loss to Stefan Struve nearly a year ago.

Rogerio de Lima is a suffocating fighter, constantly keeping his opponents backing up, and when they move forward into his range, he fires heavy kicks or powerful hooks to fend them off. The Brazil native doesn’t typically throw first except with his long kicks, rather looking to counter when his opponents engage. Sosoli tends to stand a little flat-footed looking to put his opponents away with one punch. He loads up on his left hand, not setting it up at all and just firing when his opponents engage with him, but he often misses because it’s not a varied attack.

Prediction: Marcos Rogerio de Lima (-155) via decision

Ben Sosoli vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Ben Sosoli+125
Marcos Rogerio de Lima-155

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Brad Riddell vs Magomed Mustafaev

After making a successful UFC debut, Brad “Quake” Riddell (+125) is looking for a second win in a row in the Octagon and a fifth straight win overall. To pick up that second consecutive triumph in the UFC, Riddell will have to knock off Magomed Mustafaev (-155), who is 3-1 in the Octagon and carries a 14-2 record overall into this bout. Most recently, Mustafaev scored a first-round knockout win over Rafael Fiziev last April, while Riddell’s UFC debut was a decision win over Jamie Mullarkey.

Riddell has exceptional timing and striking, helping him average 6.07 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 2.40. He also landed 59 percent of his strike attempts in his UFC debut and made his opponent miss 62 percent of his strikes. He was taken down three times in that bout, though, but did a good job scrambling back to his feet and getting into a standup fight. That grappling likely won’t be needed against Mustafaev, who hasn’t landed a takedown through his four fights in the UFC, rather electing to get into a kickboxing fight. He is very patient as he dissects his opponents’ movements. Once he has them figured out, he goes on the attack, throwing powerful strikes that have led to 10 knockout victories.

Prediction: Magomed Mustafaev (-155) via decision

Brad Riddell vs Magomed Mustafaev Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Brad Riddell+125
Magomed Mustafaev-155

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Kevin Aguilar vs Zubaira Tukhugov

Returning to the Octagon for the first time since his first defeat in the UFC is Kevin “The Angel of Death” Aguilar (-120), looking to bounce back from his decision loss to Dan Ige last June. Meanwhile, Zubaira “Warrior” Tukhugov (-110) hasn’t scored a victory in the Octagon since December 2015 and is coming off back-to-back split decisions, one a loss, the other a draw.

Tukhugov employs a suffocating pace, swarming his opponents from the outset of the fight with a flurry of strikes before looking for the takedown. He has landed 10 takedowns over his last 10 fights, including six in his split-decision draw with Lerone Murphy last September. His striking is fairly basic, sticking to hooks to keep his opponents at bay. Aguilar tends to be a bit of a slow starter, waiting for his opponents to come to him so he can engage with his heavy hands, which have resulted in 10 of his 17 pro wins ending by knockout. He has fairly good wrestling defense, stuffing 85 percent of takedown attempts, but that will be tested against Tukhugov.

Prediction: Zubaira Tukhugov (-110) via decision

Kevin Aguilar vs Zubaira Tukhugov Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Kevin Aguilar-120
Zubaira Tukhugov-110

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for UFC Fight Night 168: Felder vs Hooker:

Josh Culibao vs Jalin Turner Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Josh Culibao+175
Jalin Turner -225

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Jake Matthews vs Emil Meek Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Jake Matthews-225
Emil Meek+175

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Callan Potter vs Song Kenan Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Callan Potter+175
Song Kenan-225

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Kai Kara France vs Tyson Nam Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Kai Kara France-270
Tyson Nam+210

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Loma Lookboonmee vs Angela Hill Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Loma Lookboonmee+150
Angela Hill-185

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada

Priscila Cachoeira vs Shana Dobson Betting Odds
FighterOdds
Priscila Cachoeira+165
Shana Dobson-205

Odds as of February 22 at Bovada