Kiwi lightweight Dan Hooker has been taught to be careful what you wish for at the UFC Fight Night in Milwaukee.
After getting his wish of a fight against Edson Barboza, Hooker suffered his most painful defeat to date - his first loss by knockout after he was unable to continue midway through the third and final round.
Barboza, the No. 5 ranked lightweight in the UFC, put on a striking clinic, making full use of his well documented kicking ability.
By the end of the fight, the Brazilian made his case for the tag of best striker in the division as he bludgeoned Hooker with heavy shots to just about every part of his body.
The No.14 ranked Hooker came out of the blocks with confidence, landing the first blow to Barboza's midriff. But the skill disparity on the feet between the two fighters quickly showed as Barboza landed an array of strikes, from spinning wheel kicks to big right hooks, leaving Hooker, at times, grimacing in pain.
Early leg kicks set up the win for the Brazilian, taking away Hooker's speed and forcing him eventually to switch his stance to protect his leg.
While the two traded shots in the middle, with both landing plenty, Hooker was unable to match the power of the shots Barboza was landing.
Hooker's grit and resilience was on full display during the fight. After the second round, the Kiwi was tested by medical staff to make sure he could continue.
After answering where he was and what year it was, Hooker gave a determined "f***ing eh" when asked if he wanted to keep fighting.
However by the third round Hooker could barely walk and needed to stop Barboza to get the win. And after one last back and forth, Hooker dropped to the floor with nothing left to give, a left hook to the body doing the final damage for Barboza.
After the fight, Barboza praised Hooker, calling him "one of the best in the world". But it will be no consolation for Hooker who fell to his first defeat in the UFC since jumping up to the lightweight division.
It will be a hard one to take for the 28-year-old who had won his past four fights by stoppage.