Hooker vs Iaquinta: UFC: 243 Squared Up Betting Tips

Jason Paglia

Thursday, October 3, 2019 8:10 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 8:10 PM UTC

The UFC heads back to Melbourne, Australia for the first time in 4 years for UFC: 243. The card as a whole is not the best PPV card we have seen in the last calendar year, BUT it is by far the most EPIC Main Event we have seen in a while. 
<p>The co-main event is also sure to be entertaining, when a pair of top 15 lightweights square up in Dan Hooker and Al Iaquinta. One fighter in Hooker who comes in off the win against James Vick and ‘Ragin Al’ who comes in off the loss to Cowboy. Which one of these fighters will take a step forward up the lightweight rankings Saturday night? Let’s get after it!</p><p> </p><div><h2 style="text-align:center">DAN HOOKER (18-8) vs ROBERT WHITTAKER (20-4)</h2><p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/fighting/int/ultimate-fighting-championship/dan-hooker-vs-al-iaquinta-3923685/?mtid=126" target="_blank" title="Hooker vs Whittaker Odds Board"><strong>Sunday 6<sup>th</sup>, Oct 2019</strong></a></p><img alt src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/IzC2ZWaI2pBlph7DztC0qP7DGe8=/0x0:5082x3474/1200x800/filters:focal(2318x428:3130x1240)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63078599/usa_today_12138550.0.jpg" style="width:100%" /><h2> </h2><h2>Dan Hooker:</h2><p>Dan Hooker made his professional MMA career in 2009. He came up in the New Zealand regional scene amassing a 10-4 record before he caught the attention of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He signed a UFC in early 2014 and debuted in the UFC at a UFC Fight Night against Ian Entwhistle and won via knockout. Since entering the UFC Hooker has amassed an 8-4 record and has notable wins over James Vick, Gilbert Burns and Jim Miller. After his last fight against James Vick he finally cracked the top 15 in the UFC Lightweight rankings. This Saturday will be the biggest fight of Dan Hooker’s career. Will he rise to the occasion, grab the moment and get his hand raised in victory? Below is a look at Dam Hooker, by the numbers.</p><p><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d96568561dff25fb68b7b12/original-dan-hooker-stats" style="width:100%" /></p><p> </p><p><u><strong>― PROS ―</strong></u></p><p>• Counter Striking (he is a very solid counter striker, which against Iaquinta is big considering Al likes to lead so much)</p><p>• Range (Not one of the best Range strikers by any imagination, not even in the division but it is very solid and most definitely an attribute. He will use it often against Iaquinta you would think, considering how good Al is in the pocket.)</p><p>• Takedown Defense (You might not think it by looking at him but Hooker defends about 8 out of every 10 takedowns attempted. That is really strong and will serve him well considering Iaquinta’s strong wrestling background.)</p><p><u><strong>― CONS ―</strong></u></p><p>• Slow Starter (Dan Hooker is a notorious slow starter. He is a counter striker, so he takes his time in there, and makes sure he has his opponents timing down before really letting loose. The problem there is he is most always down a round before his game plan starts to take shape.)</p><p>• Slow Starter (When he can’t rely on his range counter striking game and he is forced to lead the action, he just looks plain bad at it. His timing is always off, and he doesn’t come from the right angles. He is at his best when he follows someone else’s exchanges.)</p><p> </p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://usatmmajunkie.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/al-iaquinta-ufc-223-official-weigh-ins.jpg?w=1000&amp;h=600&amp;crop=1" style="width:100%" /></p><h2>Al Iaquinta:</h2><p>‘Ragin’ Al Iaquinta isn’t exactly what you would call a traditional UFC fighter, but he continues to defy expectations. The fight pride of New York is actually a real estate agent in a different life, butt the MMA world came to know Iaquinta from his time on The Ultimate Fighter reality show. Iaquinta made it all the way to the TUF Finale where he lost by rear naked choke to Michael Chiesa. Ragin Al is basically a boxer who fights in the UFC. He has no ground game… like at all. He has one victory by submission of his 14 wins. Iaquinta did wrestle briefly in college but clearly from his 28% takedown rate in the UFC, his wrestling career hasn’t translated very well to MMA.</p><p>He has a very close split decision victory over Jorge Masvidal who is probably in line for an eventual title shot against welterweight champ Kamara Usman, off a phenomenal knockout victory over Ben Askren. He will have his hands full on Saturday night when he squares up with Hooker but for now, Let’s take a look at Ragin Al by the numbers.</p><p><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d96570861dff25fb68b7b13/original-al-iaquinta-stats" style="width:100%" /></p><p> </p><p><u><strong>― PROS ―</strong></u></p><p>• Boxing (The best and probably the only substantial tool in Iaquinta’s offense is his boxing. It’s tough to even say striking because he doesn’t really use the lower half of his body all that much</p><p>when striking so let’s call a spade a spade, it’s boxing. His hand speed isn’t particularly fast either, but he will take the hits in the pocket to land his shots and he is effective.)</p><p>• Stamina (Iaquinta proved in the 5 round fight with Nurmagomedov that he has a gas tank for days. He will not lose this fight because he gasses out. If he does lose it will be for an entirely different reason. I would rate his gas tank slightly higher than his opponent Saturday.)</p><p>• Counterstriking (Iaquinta has a solid counterstriking game, he fights in a phonebooth and lives in the pocket. He is always looking to land his punches after his opponent has thrown a strike which should bode well for him Saturday.)</p><p> </p><p><u><strong>― CONS ―</strong></u></p><p>•Ground Game (It is close to nonexistent. Yes, he wrestled briefly in college but not long enough for it to matter in the Octagon, and his jiu-jitsu game is weak to put it bluntly. He has one submission victory in his entire MMA career. He is fighting a man that has more submission wins then Iaquinta has wins period. If this fight goes to the ground Ragin Al is in trouble, big trouble.)</p><p>• Speed (Al isn’t very fast at anything. He is even slow at tracking his opponents in the octagon, never mind his hand speed.</p><p>• Takedowns (Much like hooker, Al Iaquinta is not very good at taking his opponent to the mat. 28% is subpar in the UFC, but if he gets you on the mat, he has a solid wrestling game to keep you there. You would have to think both these fighters will look to keep it standing for as long as they can Saturday.)</p><p> </p><h2>THE VERDICT</h2><p>Like Dave and I discussed on Odds Market You Tube earlier, this fight is razor thin. Either fighter can win this fight. Both have avenues to victory and both have weaknesses the other fighter can exploit. So, I am staying off the fighters. If someone gave me a free unit, I suppose I would take Iaquinta at that dog price because I think the odds should be much closer, but I am not putting my money down on a fighter.</p><p>Instead I am going with the fight goes the distance. I think that both these fighters are incredibly tough and since it’s only a 3 round fight I think they should both last 15 minutes. I know almost every Dan Hooker fight ends inside the distance, but just about every Iaquinta fight goes the distance. So, that’s a wash. Their finishing power doesn’t really scre me, and I</p><p>don’t see anyone taking this to the ground and submitting the other. I expect them to meet in the middle and bang out for 15 minutes. Book It!</p><p> </p><h2>THE PICK</h2><p>The Fight to go the Distance YES at (1.5) – <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="A+ Bookmaker">William Hill</a></p><p style="text-align:center"><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=168&amp;a=4417b7df-a48f-47f3-9b45-f79858bc083a&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d582dcf927b95968483da5f/original-10-bet-new-customer-welcome-bonus" style="width:100%" /></a></p></div>
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