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Al Iaquinta, Dan Hooker verbally agree to UFC 243 clash

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A crucial lightweight bout is headed down under.

Al Iaquinta and Dan Hooker have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 243 on Oct. 5 in Melbourne, Australia, ESPN reported Sunday night.

In his last bout, Iaquinta lost to Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision in the UFC Ottawa main event in May. Before that, Iaquinta bested Kevin Lee in the biggest win of his career. Iaquinta has alternated wins and losses in his past four bouts.

After a recent first-round knockout of James Vick, Hooker said he wanted to fight a top 10 opponent next, naming Iaquinta as an option. Hooker bounced back from a loss to Edson Barboza in the Vick fight. Hooker, a New Zealand native, is 5-1 since moving up to 155 pounds in 2017.

UFC 243, which takes place at Marvel Stadium, is expected to be headlined by a middleweight title unification bout between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya.

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