UFC’s Hooker back to featherweight to fight Allen

MMA

Former UFC lightweight contender and fan favorite Dan Hooker will make his featherweight return against Arnold Allen on March 19, officials announced on Monday.

The 145-pound contest, which will mark Hooker’s first fight at that weight in over five years, will take place at UFC Fight Night in London.

Hooker (21-11), of New Zealand, signed with the UFC as a featherweight in 2014. He went 3-3 in his first six fights inside the Octagon at that weight before transitioning to the 155-pound lightweight division in 2017. Following the move, Hooker won six of his next seven to catapult him into UFC title contention.

The 31-year-old has hit a cold spell as of late, however, with high-profile losses to Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler and Islam Makhachev. All of those opponents were highly ranked at the time.

He draws a tough assignment in Allen (17-1), who should have the crowd behind him. Fighting out of Felixstowe, England, Allen is a perfect 7-0 in the UFC. He holds notable wins over Makwan Amirkhani, Gilbert Melendez and Nik Lentz.

A heavyweight fight between England’s Tom Aspinall and Alexander Volkov is scheduled to headline the UFC Fight Night event.

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