Bigger bouts await Kiwi UFC fighters Dan Hooker and Israel Adesanya with the pair cracking the top 15 rankings for the first time.

Both fighters won bouts over the weekend in Las Vegas and, now both riding long winning streaks, have been rewarded by the promotion.

Adesanya, who fights in the middleweight class, beat then No8 ranked Brad Tavares by unanimous decision in the first five-round main event of his UFC career. He took the Hawaiian apart in the five five-minute rounds and has climbed into the top 10 as a result.

The 28-year-old debuted in the rankings at No9, overtaking Tavares who dropped to tenth.


Hooker, who knocked out Brazilian Gilbert Burns in less than three minutes, made his rankings debut at No14 in the stacked lightweight division and said now he would be in line to fight guys he felt were at his level.

"That just means that these other guys in the rankings will take a fight with me," Hooker said. "It's something I had to do to get the fights that I want to get.

"It's really important in getting the bigger name guys to accepting a fight with me. Everyone wants to go up so now that I'm in the rankings there will be a lot of guys come after me or want my position so that only makes me happier.

Hooker holds the third-longest active streak of finishes in the UFC, winning by stoppage in his past four bouts. At the weekend, he got the stop while Adesanya was taken the distance. The two City Kickboxing teammates hurled some banter at each other after their fights, but Hooker said Adesanya got the better of him.

"He bummed me out about that. I said I didn't need five rounds, he said mate, you didn't even get five rounds. He'd already thought about it, that was the thing that got me... he already had that one loaded for me."

Hooker and Adesanya add to the Kiwi flair in the UFC, joining heavyweight Mark Hunt (No7) and Kiwi-born middleweight champion Rob Whittaker.

"Now we got our names in there, we can work our way towards the titles," Hooker said. "So yeah, very happy."