Dan Hooker, UFC Fight Night 128

Dan Hooker interested in replacing Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 267

Even though Dan Hooker is fresh off a win at UFC 266 last weekend, he is already prepared to jump into the cage again if the UFC comes calling. Hooker had a dominating win over Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266. The Aussie went to the distance and came out with a hard-fought win. Taking no time to settle down, Hooker wants to get right back to business and since there is an opening in just a few weeks, he sees an opportunity. His coach took the chance on Submission Radio to let the world know that Hooker is game.

“Dan will never ever refuse a fight no matter what the circumstance is,” Eugene Bareman said. “And not having a voucher and possibly staring down the barrel of being stuck over here for six months or even longer, will not make Dan refuse a fight if offered to him. As far as I know there’s no fights being offered yet, but if [UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby] calls us up I know 100 percent that Dan will take that fight. He will never refuse a fight, no matter who it’s against under what circumstances. Two days’ notice, one week’s notice, 12 weeks’ notice it doesn’t matter, he’d take it. So if that fight does swing our way, then 100 percent Dan will take it.”

Here for a while

Just getting into the United States was a battle in itself for Hooker. He was having trouble leaving New Zealand due to the very restrictive COVID-19 lockdown protocols. Hooker had to plead to the US Embassy in order to get permission to travel to Las Vegas for his fight. He reached Las Vegas just in time to successfully cut weight and fight. Now that he is here, returning is not so simple. As explained by his coach, he could be in the States for months, so why not take another fight.

This is where Islam Makhachev comes in. He is currently without a dance partner for his UFC 267 bout .  Makhachev was originally set to face Rafael dos Anjos but an injury has set dos Anjos on the sidelined. Makhachev is interested in staying on the card and willing to face anyone. If that is an option, Hooker would fit right in.

Following his win, Hooker jumped up to number six in the ranking. Makhachev is sitting in the five spot so the matchup actually makes a lot of sense.

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