What's the story?
UFC lightweight contenders Dan Hooker and Al Iaquinta have verbally agreed to face off at UFC's mega-event in Melbourne, Australia, according to rumors coming out of ESPN.com, with an official announcement expected imminently.
In case you didn't know...
Hooker vs Iaquinta has been on the radar since UFC on ESPN 4 back in July. Hooker claimed an impressive victory over James Vick at that event and publicly called out Iaquinta during his post-fight interview.
As expected, Iaquinta did not shy away from the call out, as he took to Twitter to accept the Australian's invitation to fight almost immediately.
The heart of the matter...
The UFC will be pulling out all the stops to make sure UFC 243 is a success. They have booked out the Marvel Arena in Melbourne, which has a capacity of around 60,000. If the UFC manage to fill the arena, this will become the biggest event in the company's history.
The event is already set to be headlined by Australia's own Robert Whittaker, who will face off with New Zealand's Israel Adesanya - an event that will surely get the locals flocking to the event in their droves.
The addition of another homegrown fighter in Hooker, as well as the ever-popular Al Iaquinta, will only add to the buzz that already surrounds this marquee event.
The countdown to Melbourne is already well and truly underway, with the UFC already having announced many high profile bouts at the event involving the likes of Whittaker, Adesanya, Holly Holm, and Tai Tuivasa.
We can expect many more blockbuster fights to be added to the already impressive card over the coming weeks. In the meantime, we have the small matter of UFC 241: Cormier vs Miocic and UFC 242: Khabib vs Poirier to keep us entertained.
Certainly, an exciting few months lie ahead for MMA fans.Published 12 Aug 2019, 14:13 IST