Rising lightweight contender Dan Hooker fights before his hometown fans on Saturday when he faces Paul Felder in the main event of UFC Fight Night 168. The 13-bout event takes place at Spark Arena, with the main UFC Fight Night 168 card scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. The seventh-ranked Hooker (19-8) has seen his stock soar behind an impressive run in which he has won six of his past seven fights, including both bouts in 2019. 

He will face a tough challenge from the sixth-ranked Felder (17-4), a seven-year UFC veteran who has climbed the ranks with wins in five of his last six outings. Hooker is a -150 favorite (risk $150 to win $100), while Felder is offered at +130 in the latest Felder vs. Hooker odds. In the co-main event, Michał Oleksiejczuk (-140) faces Jimmy Crute (+120) in a battle of light heavyweight prospects. Before locking in any UFC Fight Night 168 picks of your own, be sure to see the latest MMA predictions from SportsLine’s Kyle Marley.

Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up nearly $18,000.

Just last week at UFC Fight Night 167, Marley told SportsLine members to back Lando Vannata (-115) against Yancy Medeiros (-105) in a matchup of lightweights to kick off the main card. The MMA expert reasoned that Vannata’s overall skill set would be too much for Medeiros to handle, and was proven correct when Vannata dominated the action from the opening bell and took a unanimous decision. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.

Now, with UFC Fight Night 168 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every single fight. He’s sharing those selections right here.

Hooker vs. Felder preview

Marley knows the main event will be a turning point in the careers of two lightweights vying for position amid a top-heavy division. Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov faces top-ranked challenger Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in April. Nurmagomedov already has successfully defended his title against No. 2-ranked Dustin Poirier and third-ranked Conor McGregor. Fourth-ranked Justin Gaethje is likely next in line, ahead of the winner of Saturday’s main event. Even so, Hooker or Felder could be in position for a title shot by the end of the year.

Hooker appears to be hitting his prime at age 30. The Auckland native started his UFC campaign with a 3-3 mark, with the low point coming in a loss to journeyman Jason Knight in November 2016. But he has been on a tear ever since, with five finishes among his six victories. His lone defeat in that stretch came against the venerable Edson Barboza in December 2018.

Felder, 34, split his first four UFC bouts before going on a similar surge. He defeated Barboza by split decision in September to avenge a loss in their 2015 meeting. The Philadelphia native also has emerged as a respected color analyst for UFC events and has said he will pursue broadcasting full-time if a title shot doesn’t materialize in the near future. Get Marley’s Hooker vs. Felder predictions here.

Top UFC Fight Night 168 expert picks

At UFC Fight Night 168, Marley is backing Kai Kara-France (-260) to get his hand raised against Tyson Nam (+220) in a flyweight bout. 

Kara-France (20-8) is ranked No. 8 in the division and has won three of his first four bouts with the promotion. But the New Zealander saw his three-bout winning streak halted with a decision loss against fifth-ranked Brandon Moreno at UFC 245 in December.

The unranked Nam (18-10) has had success with various promotions, but lost his UFC debut by decision to Sergio Pettis in September. The Hawaiian has four stoppage victories among his last six wins.

“I see Kara-France being the better fighter everywhere and he has the hometown advantage. He is one of my most confident picks on the card and a knockout is the only way he loses,” Marley told SportsLine. “I see him dominating all three rounds and picking up a clear decision win.”

How to make UFC Fight Night 168 predictions

Marley also has strong picks for Hooker vs. Felder, Crute vs. Oleksiejczuk and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night 168 card. He’s also targeting one fight where Vegas’ “recency bias” means the line is way off. You can see every pick for every fight at SportsLine.

Who wins Hooker vs. Felder? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night 168, all from the expert who’s up nearly $18,000 on MMA in the past year, and find out. 

UFC Fight Night 168 odds

Dan Hooker (-150) vs. Paul Felder (+130)
Michal Oleksiejczuk (-140) vs. Jimmy Crute (+120)
Yan Xiaonan (-255) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (+215)
Marcos Rogerio De Lima (-145) vs. Ben Sosoli (+125)
Magomed Mustafaev (-130) vs. Brad Riddell (+110)
Zubaira Tukhugov (-115) vs. Kevin Aguilar (-105)
Jalin Turner (-200) vs. Josh Culibao (+170)
Jake Matthews (-230) vs. Emil Meek (+190)
Song Kenan (-185) vs. Callan Potter (+160)
Kai Kara-France (-260) vs. Tyson Nam (+220)
Angela Hill (-200) vs. Loma Lookboonmee (+170)
Takashi Sato (-115) vs. Maki Pitolo (-105)
Shana Dobson (-190) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (+165)