Paul Felder has a background in acting and also has become one of the most respected analysts in mixed martial arts. He has long said he doesn’t fight because he needs to pay bills; he does it in pursuit of a championship. He will take another step toward that goal on Saturday by facing Dan Hooker in the main event of UFC Fight Night 168. Thirteen fights are scheduled from Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, with the main UFC Fight Night 168 card set for 7 p.m. ET.

The sixth-ranked Felder (17-4) won both of his bouts last year and comes off a win against famed veteran Edson Barboza, while the seventh-ranked Hooker (19-8) has had his hand raised in six of his past seven bouts. Hooker is a -150 favorite (risk $150 to win $100), while Felder is a +130 underdog 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 Brad Riddell (+110) to earn a decision victory over Magomed Mustafaev (-130) in a lightweight clash on the main UFC New Zealand card. 

Riddell (7-1) made a promising UFC debut when he earned a unanimous decision against Jamie Mullarkey at UFC 243 in October. The 28-year-old New Zealander will have the advantage of home-crowd support. 

Mustafaev (15-2) has won three of his first four bouts with the UFC. The 31-year-old Russian stopped Rafael Fiziev in the first round of their April 2019 clash. 

“I think this is almost knockout or bust for Mustafaev,” Marley told SportsLine. “I could see Riddell winning by knockout, or getting a decision in which he lands more volume and has the crowd cheering for him the whole time.”

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)

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