BREAKING: Islam Makhachev to Fight at UFC 267 Against a Surprise Name

Published 09/30/2021, 10:58 PM EDT
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: Islam Makhachev of Russia celebrates after his knockout victory over Gleison Tibau of Brazil in their lightweight bout during the UFC 220 event at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


The UFC has tried to schedule a fight between Islam Makhachev and Rafael dos Anjos thrice now. Unfortunately, all three times, the fight has been called off as either Dos Anjos or Makhachev pulled out of the bout. This time around, it was the former lightweight champion who withdrew.

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With UFC 267 just a month away, the promotion was in the hunt for a short-notice replacement to face Islam Makhachev, who has been hard to find matchups for. 

 

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However, as he has done multiple times prior, Dan Hooker stepped in to accept the fight, just a week after securing a win against Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266. This will be Hooker’s third fight of 2021 and arguably the toughest test of his UFC career to date.  

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Dan Hooker vs Islam Makhachev- A preview 

Ahead of his upcoming bout against Islam Makhachev, Dan Hooker shared his thoughts on the fight and detailed why he accepted the bout on short notice.

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He said, “Just look at the thing like, Tony Ferguson is being Tony Ferguson. Beneil is signed to Ali as well, I didn’t think he was going to take the fight either. So I knew I was the only real option. But yeah, they (UFC) called me up and I am a happy man. I’ll see you in Abu Dhabi.”

Makhachev, currently on an eight-fight win streak, sits at #5 in the UFC’s lightweight division. He is just one spot ahead of Dan Hooker, who jumped up to 6th after his win over Haqparast. 

The Hangman’ will have a significant height and reach advantage over Makhachev going into their bout. It is no secret that Makhachev will try to get the fight to the ground where he has the best chance to win. However, that will be easier said than done against Hooker who has a takedown defense of 80%. 

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However, in the striking department, Hooker is arguably the better of the two fighters and has a five-inch reach advantage to play with. 

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What do you make of Dan Hooker accepting the fight on short notice? Who do you think comes out on top? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kevin Binoy

1227 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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