UFC: Dan Hooker Still Wants To Fight Dustin Poirier

Surging UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker, had the fight of his career last February, when he fought Paul Felder at UFC Auckland in an absolute war. ‘The Hangman’ weathered the storm and managed to grab a split decision victory.

After the incredible performance and a jump up into the top five in the UFC lightweight ranking, it didn’t take long for Hooker to find his next opponent. His next foe lay in former UFC lightweight interim champion, Dustin Poirier.

Although an official contract was not signed, the two 155lbs contenders were expected to face off in the UFC San Diego main event on May 16th. But as fans have grown accustomed too, this event has also been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with MMA Junkie, a disappointed Hooker expressed his frustration in the card being postponed and explained why he’s still prepared to fight, even in the current global pandemic.

“This is just something I live for, man. I live for getting in the cage, I live for putting on a show. Any shred of hope they were giving me, I was going all in on it. As far as I was concerned, the only message I was getting from the UFC was a green light. … So I was training my ass off, I was getting fit, I was prepared as I could be under the circumstances at the moment. So it took me a day, yesterday training was pretty unmotivated but I’m looking forward to getting back into some sessions today.”

Poirier recently campaigned to fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in the aftermath of Khabib Nurmagomedov pulling out. Hooker doesn’t blame ‘The Diamond’ however.

“It’s a business,” Hooker said. “This whole game is risk/reward. Would I have entertained the idea of a lower-ranked fighter at this time under those circumstances? Definitely not. So, for Dustin to throw his name in the hat for a fight that would have potentially got him even more back on track than a fight against me, you know, I have no problem with that. If he turned down me to fight Gaethje or Ferguson or McGregor, I can’t get upset about that because I would do the exact same thing to him.”

The New Zealander believes a win over the number two ranked lightweight will put him in title contention.

“I like the matchup, two of the most skilled strikers in that top five, but his ranking, man, that’s really why, irrelevant of everyone else, he’s number two in the world and he’s the last guy to fight for the title,” Hooker said. “If you want to put yourself in position for a title shot, beating the last guy to fight for the title in a main event is how you do that. Regardless of everything else, I feel like I match up well against anyone in the entire division. So that was genuinely, just for rankings, I’ll look, I get the number two, and then I’ll look at the actual styles and how we match up once I get the fight contract.”

Meanwhile, Poirier’s charity The Good Fight Foundation, has donated 1,000 meals to front liners and hospital workers, who are working mercifully during the coronavirus pandemic.

When Dan Hooker and Dustin Poirier finally meet each other inside the Octagon, whenever and wherever that will be, who do you think will get their hand raised?


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