Dan Hooker tweets Dana White to come back to New Zealand

Dan Hooker plans to ‘spoil’ the party and beat Islam Makhachev at UFC 267

Dan Hooker knows people have high hopes for Islam Makhachev, but he plans to derail those plans.

After Hooker beat Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266, he stepped up on short notice to fight a month later against Makhachev. It’s an intriguing matchup but the oddsmakers expect Makhachev to ease to a win as he is a massive favorite. Yet, for Hooker, he’s confident in his skill set that he can pull off the upset and spoil everyone’s plans for the Russian.

“That train of thought never appealed to me, or I never understood discrediting an opponent’s achievements leading into a fight,” Hooker said at UFC 267’s media day. “Because when you beat them, you’re just downplaying your own achievements. I have no intention to nitpick his past or nitpick any of his achievements and kind of downplay them. That’s not even how I approach it mentally.

“I want to fight him because he is a specialist. I want to fight him because there is so much intrigue. I want to fight him because he is considered the best grappler in the division,” Hooker continued. “I want to fight the best people in the world, and he’s considered one of the best people in the world. That’s why I want to fight him. I don’t want to fight him because I think he’s an easy target. It doesn’t make sense to discredit him. He’s deserved everything he’s achieved. This is his party. I’m just here to spoil it. That’s my whole plan.”

If Makhachev wins on Saturday night, he could very well earn a lightweight title shot, but if Dan Hooker wins, that would be a massive loss for the Russian. It’s the toughest test of the Russian’s career but if he wins, that he is for real and could very well be fighting for UFC gold sometime next year.

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