Dan Hooker Expects To Return In July; Who Are His Possible Opponents?

Published 04/15/2021, 10:00 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 26: In this handout image provided by UFC, Dan Hooker of New Zealand poses on the scale during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on June 26, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Dan Hooker is excitedly eyeing a return to the Octagon. After how his last two fights have gone, many were rightfully concerned about Hooker and his future. Even he looked extremely dejected after his loss to Michael Chandler in January. However, he has to move forward. Hooker is one of the most exciting strikers in the UFC and has had some tough opponents.

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His last two losses are nothing to be ashamed of. He took Dustin Poirier to a hard-fought decision last June and then was knocked out in the first round by a debuting Michael Chandler at UFC 257. However, Poirier is considered the best Lightweight in the world and Chandler is in the next title fight. Hooker has revealed that he looks to dip back into the fight pool this summer, preferably July.

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“I’m ready to go in June. July would be perfect. It would be outstanding to get a fight then. It’s just down to the little blue fellow and he points me in the right direction and tells me to shoot, I’ll swing him and let him go. That’s what we’re waiting for. July? Perfect. Perfect. Whoever is ready to go on that date.”

Dan Hooker: Who could his next opponent be?

There are two names that stand out for Hooker. Both men have held UFC gold before. The first opponent in mind is Rafael Dos Anjos, who is looking to rise back up the Lightweight rankings. The former champion is coming off a strong win over Paul Felder, the same man that Gooker got his last win over.

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LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 06: Justin Gaethje poses on the scale during the UFC weigh-in at the Park Theater on July 6, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

However, the more exciting opponent would be Justin Gaethje. Gaethje hasn’t fought since he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov last October for the UFC title. The former interim champion has seen all other top Lightweights get booked into a fight, leaving Hooker as his best option right now. Their possible matchup has Fight of the Year potential.

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There are other contenders as well, most notably Islam Makhachev. However, there isn’t a lot of time between now and July, so Hooker will be hoping to get his fight sooner than later.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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