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Dan Hooker vs. Claudio Puelles added to UFC 281

A fight between two exciting lightweights has been added to the MSG card. 

Dan Hooker at UFC 267.
Dan Hooker at UFC 267.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Dan Hooker hoped his ‘premium quality fighting words’ would get him a fight against Tony Ferguson, but they got him someone else: Claudio Puelles.

Hooker vs. Puelles has joined the line-up of UFC 281, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for Nov. 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Fordewin MMA on Twitter was first to report the fight. Both men have since confirmed the report on their respective social media accounts.

Though 1-4 in his past five fights, Hooker has shared the Octagon with a slew of noteworthy names at featherweight and lightweight in that run. The ‘Hangman’ suffered consecutive defeats to Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler but rebounded with a unanimous decision against Nasrat Haqparast. He filled in as a short-notice replacement for Rafael dos Anjos, who was expected to fight Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 this past October. Hooker was submitted via first-round kimura.

The City Kickboxing product then opted to go down to 145 pounds, a weight class he competed in early on in his professional career. His first assignment was against a surging contender in Arnold Allen at UFC London, where he was finished by first-round TKO. Hooker announced his return to lightweight shortly after.

Puelles has rattled off five wins since losing to Martin Bravo in The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3 Finale nearly six years ago. The ‘Prince of Peru’ recently earned a ‘Performance of the Night’ award for his first-round kneebar of Clay Guida at UFC Vegas 52 in April. That was his third win by kneebar, which is the most in UFC history.

UFC 281 is headlined by a middleweight championship fight between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira.