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UFC Fight Night 110 fight card: Dan Hooker vs Ross Pearson preview

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community news, UFC Fight Night 110 fight card: Dan Hooker vs Ross Pearson preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight scrappers Dan Hooker and Ross Pearson will square off this Saturday (June 10, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 110 inside Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

Like his opponent, Hooker has struggled to find consistent success inside the Octagon. He’s alternated wins and losses in his six UFC appearances thus far, but at least he’s finished all three of those victories. For a long time, Pearson was in the same situation as Hooker, winning every other fight and struggling to build momentum. Times have changed, however, as the Englishman has now lost his last three and is in serious need of a victory.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for both men:

Dan Hooker
Record: 13-7
Key Wins: Hatsu Hioki (UFC Fight Night 65), Mark Eddiva (UFC Fight Night 85), Ian Entwistle (UFC Fight Night 43)
Key Losses: Jason Knight (UFC Fight Night 101), Yair Rodriguez (UFC 192), Maximo Blanco (UFC Fight Night 52)
Keys to Victory: “Hangman” Hooker is a reasonably well-rounded athlete with some solid finishing skills. He’s a crafty kickboxer with unexpected power, and Hooker has also finished six of his opponents via tapout.

In the three fights Hooker lost via decision, he had his moments, but ultimately was unable to capitalize on much late in the fight. The New Zealand-native is returning to Lightweight for this contest in the hopes that he’ll be able to push a harder pace for three full rounds.

This bout will be a test of Hooker’s ability to maintain range and kick. The path to defeating Ross Pearson is well-established — a strong wrestler can pin him to the mat, while a skilled kickboxer can work from a longer distance and shutdown his head movement with kicks.

Hooker fits the latter description far more than the former. Between his footwork and length — even at 155 pounds — Hooker should be able to circle the outside of Pearson’s range, slamming him with hard kicks from both stances. If Pearson gets sloppy in his attempts to close the distance, Hooker will find counter punches as well. Hooker is tough enough to survive a few bad moments, but so long as he sticks to the gameplan, he should be able to handle the veteran.

VS.

Ross Pearson
Record: 19-13 (1)
Key Wins: Paul Felder (UFC 191), Chad Laprise (UFC Fight Night 85), Gray Maynard (UFC Fight Night 47), Dennis Siver (UFC Fight Night 21)
Key Losses: Evan Dunham (UFC Fight Night 72), Will Brooks (TUF 23 Finale), Al Iaquinta (UFC Fight Night 55), Francisco Trinaldo (UFC Fight Night 81)
Keys to Victory: Pearson is much more of a specialist than his opponent. “The Real Deal” has some very nice boxing and a unique style, which comprises of slipping inside his foe’s punches and returning nasty counter shots.

Unfortunately for Pearson, he struggles to adjust when his opponent denies him the boxing range.

This bout is winnable for Pearson if — and likely only if — he adjusts to finally use his full game. Too often has Pearson walked forward toward an opponent only to get out-landed as he whiffs punches … and he really cannot afford another loss here.

One of the biggest things Pearson needs to do is kick. He has some really hard low kicks, and they actually won him a close decision opposite Chad Laprise, who attempted to apply the classic anti-Pearson-circle-and-kick approach. Low kicks allow Pearson to land more a hard shot and score points, and they also make it easier for him to catch up to his circling foe.

Any kicks would be great, but more low kicks would be especially smart.

Additionally, a few takedown attempts would be wise. Pearson is an underrated wrestler, and Hooker has struggled with being trapped on his back. At worst, Pearson can break off in the clinch following a failed shot and fire off punches.

Bottom Line: It’s a scrap between a hometown favorite and wily veteran.

This is a fight Hooker really needs to win. Following his own pattern, he’s schedule to get back into the win column, but this is his chance to do something more. In a new weight class opposite a known opponent, it’s a chance for Hooker to really shine and make a name for himself.

Otherwise, it’s back to the drawing board for the New Zealander.

It’s a damn important bout for Pearson as well. The 32-year-old has been competing inside the Octagon for eight years, but if he comes up short, this could very well be his final UFC performance. Alternatively, a win buys Pearson a good deal of breathing room. He’s an entertaining and consistent fighter in UFC’s deepest division, so there are always new fights available for him as long as he can avoid another extensive losing streak.

At UFC Fight Night 110, Dan Hooker and Ross Pearson will battle. Which man will have his hand raised?

Source:: mma mania