BREAKING: Dan Hooker Returns to UFC Action- Will Feature at UFC 266

Published 08/22/2021, 12:32 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 26: 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)


UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker is all set to make a return to the cage at UFC 266 on September 25. ‘The Hangman’ will go head-to-head against Nasrat Haqparast who is on a two-fight win streak in the UFC. The bout is a huge opportunity for Haqparast to make it to the big leagues with a win over a veteran.

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As for Hooker, he needs to get back on the right track as he’s suffered some rather hard-fought defeats recently. UFC 266 will be headlined by a featherweight title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega and fans will flock to Las Vegas. The T-Mobile Arena will be bustling and the addition of Hooker vs Haqparast is welcomed by the fans.

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UFC lightweight’s clash: Dan Hooker vs Nasrat Haqparast

The City Kick Boxing [CKB] standout has lost two in a row albeit to elite competition of the likes of Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler. All the same, he’ll need to get back into the win column in order to preserve his number 8 ranking. The lightweight division is a cesspool of dangerous contenders and there are many fighters looking to take his spot.

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)

Fans will be intrigued to see how Dan Hooker approaches the fight after being viciously knocked out in his last bout. Hooker has fallen to strikes only one other time in his career and he came back stronger than ever, earning a KO of his own. There’s a lot to look out for under when both men step into the cage.

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Nasrat Haqparast is 5-1 in his last 6 outings and his only loss came to Drew Dober back in January 2020 via KO. Since losing his UFC debut, Haqparast has shown that he’s a talented prospect simply waiting to get back right into the mix. The odds certainly won’t favor him but he’s backing himself to come up with the right result.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 08: (R-L) Nasrat Haqparast of Germany punches Alexander Munoz in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 08, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The bout is a stylistic treat and both are comfortable pushing the pace to get the ball rolling. Not to mention, they’re known to have granite chins which makes the bout an immediate contender for ‘Fight of the Night’.

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Darryl Pinto

1877 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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