Paul Felder came to Auckland, New Zealand to get the win, but hometown hero Dan Hooker had other ideas at UFC on ESPN+ 26.

Hooker used his reach advantage to shut Felder’s right eye shut in the second round using kicks and strikes at range. Felder broke through in the third and fourth rounds, closing the distance better and using his own strikes – with one eye- to inflict significant damage.

It all came down to the fifth and final round, a late takedown. by Hooker appeared to seal the deal in the eyes of the judges, who scored it 48-47, 47-48, and 48-47.

In the post-fight interview, Felder said with emotion he was going to look hard at retirement.

Hooker now has a three fight win streak and called out Justin Gaethje as a possible next opponent.

It was a great fight that entertained the crowd and one that yours truly thinks got the call and scores correct.

Hooker and Felder earned Fight of the Night, while Jim Crute and Priscila Cachdeira earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.

In case you missed the prelims:

PRISCILA CACHOEIRA DEF. SHANA DOBSON VIA KO (PUNCHES) R1 0:40

ANGELA HILL DEF. LOMA LOOKBOONMEE VIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

KAI KARA-FRANCE DEF. TYSON NAM VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

SONG KENAN DEF. CALLAN POTTER VIA KO (PUNCHES) R1 2:20

JAKE MATTHEWS DEF. EMIL MEEK VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

JALIN TURNER DEF. JOSH CULIBAO VIA TKO (GNP) R2 3:21

ZUBIRA TUKHUGOV DEF. KEVIN AGUILAR VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 3:21

MAIN CARD

BRAD RIDDELL VS. MAGOMED MUSTAFAEV 

WINNER: BRAD RIDDELL VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BRAD RIDDELL VIA SD

Andrews: As expected, this wasn’t much of a barnburner. But Riddell got the job done.

BEN SOSOLI VS. MARCOS ROGERIO DE LIMA 

WINNER: MARCOS ROGERIO DE LIMA VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 1:28

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MARCOS ROGERIO DE LIMA VIA TKO

Andrews: Wow! Sosoli needs to get in better shape. He had the height and reach advantages but still got starched.

#14 KAROLINA KOWALKIEWICZ VS. YAN XIAONAN 

WINNER: YAN XIAONAN VIA UD

ANDREWS PREDICTION: YAN XIAONAN VIA UD 

Andrews: KK has been a gatekeeper for awhile now.

JIM CRUTE VS. MICHAL OLEKSIEJCZUK 

WINNER: JIM CRUTE VIA SUBMISSION (KIMURA) R1 3:29

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JIM CRUTE VIA TKO

Andrews: Crute used the home crowd’s energy to help him. Good win.

MAIN EVENT

#6 PAUL FELDER VS. #7 DAN HOOKER 

WINNER: DAN HOOKER VIA SD (48-47, 47-48 , 48-47)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: PAUL FELDER VIA TKO

Andrews: Dan Hooker proved something today. Excellent win over a gritty fighter.

@kenaiandrews