Dan Hooker, Dustin Poirier

Was Poirier the Biggest Challenge of Hooker’s Week?

Very few would ever want to partake in the type of brutal brawl that occurred between lightweights Dan Hooker and Dustin Poirier in the main event of last weekend’s UFC on ESPN 12 card. Despite losing the fight and having to be rushed to the hospital after 25 minutes of exchanging blows with Poirier (who won the bout by unanimous decision), that’s arguably the second-toughest thing Hooker had to endure over the course of the last week.

Anyone who’s a parent would likely empathize with one of Hooker’s recent Twitter posts. It was a heartbreaking post because it shows Hooker seeing his daughter for the first time since his fight with Poirier. However, in the photo, Hooker is seen adhering to social distancing guidelines that he must follow for two weeks following his main event appearance and it is accompanied by the caption: “So close and yet so far! #familyovereverything”

The photo was taken shortly after Hooker arrived back in his home country of New Zealand. Upon returning home, Hooker is required to quarantine himself in a hotel for two weeks per New Zealand’s COVID-19 travel protocol.

The No. 5-ranked UFC lightweight was able to see his daughter, but the distancing that was required has to pull at your emotional strings a bit.

It certainly touched Hooker’s most recent opponent, who responded to the tweet from “The Hangman” and offered his support.

Although the next two weeks (really about a week and a half now) will be difficult for Hooker, it appears he escaped the fight with Poirier without any serious injuries and he will eventually be able to share the $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus that he earned on Saturday with his family.

Not only was Poirier and Hooker’s brawl deemed Fight of the Night this past weekend, many believe it’s a strong candidate for Fight of the Year honors.

It was certainly one of those fights that felt like it had no loser, as both Hooker and Poirier will both stay highly ranked within their weight class. Poirier could be in line for another title shot soon and the experience Hooker gained in this fight should only help continue the upward trajectory he has been on.

But as two martial artists with great discipline and respect for each other, Hooker and Poirier showed love after the fight and continue to prove that there are no hard feelings between them.

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