UFC 267: Islam Makhachev vs Dan Hooker: Prediction and Analysis

Published 10/27/2021, 8:44 AM EDT
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 20: Islam Makhachev kicks Gleison Tibau in the first round of their Lightweight fight during UFC 220 at TD Garden on January 20, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)


UFC lightweights Islam Makhachev and Dan Hooker will meet in the middle at UFC 267 set to go down in Abu Dhabi. Both men are ranked right at the top of the division and the winner will move close to contention. Not to mention, they have both exchanged words back and forth, making this a fight fans have circled on their calendar.

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There has been plenty of pre-fight conversation surrounding the bout as fans have picked their respective winners. The overwhelming majority of the MMA community believe that Makhachev is set to dominate Hooker under the bright lights. However, ‘The Hangman’ believes his momentum-setting win against Nasrat Haqparast is enough to turn the tide come Fight Night.

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UFC 267: Islam Makhachev vs Dan Hooker

Makhachev has finally arrived on the big stage and has begun competing more frequently as of late. After a near two-year lay-off, Makhachev has secured two consecutive submission wins in 2021 and intends to keep the ball rolling. He is on an 8-fight win streak and could very well close in on a title shot if he beats Hooker.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (R-L) Islam Makhachev works for a submission against Drew Dober in their lightweight fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Islam Makhachev has excellent wrestling and top control akin to his long-time training partner and coach, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Once the 30-year-old secures mount, it becomes a herculean task for his opponent to make headway. However, he’ll have to be wary of Dan Hooker’s explosive flying knees that could potentially cause an entry hazard for the takedown.

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Dan Hooker comes in as the much more experienced fighter and he’s gone toe-to-toe with some of the very best in the business. He recently broke past a two-fight skid with a workman-like performance against Nasrat Haqparast in September. He’s had a three-week-long training camp to prepare for Makhachev and he’s spoken about keeping things wrestling-heavy.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: (R-L) Michael Chandler punches Dan Hooker of New Zealand in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Hooker is extremely dangerous in close range and Islam Makhachev will look to cut angles against him. Hooker’s wrestling will most certainly be tested against Makhachev and his performance in that department will be the difference-maker in the fight.

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Darryl Pinto

1998 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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