How Can Dan Hooker Win Against Islam Makhachev at UFC 267?

Published 10/25/2021, 8:55 AM EDT


Islam Makhachev has caught the interest of all UFC and MMA enthusiasts. The 29-year-old fighter began his MMA career in 2010. In 2015, he began fighting for the UFC. Overall, he has an impressive MMA record of 20 wins and 1 loss. His only loss was against Adriano Martins, where he suffered a TKO. However, after the lone loss, he is now on an 8-fight win streak. Makhachev’s last fight was against Thiago Moises at UFC Fight Night. The Russian fighter won the bout through the submission of his opponent.

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His next fight will be at UFC 267. Makhachev will face Dan Hooker in this upcoming bout. Hooker has a record of 21 wins and 10 losses. He has lost against UFC lightweights like Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler. His last fight was against Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266. ‘The Hangman’ won this fight through a unanimous decision. 

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)

This fight was originally supposed to be between Makhachev and Rafael dos Anjos. However, due to an injury, the fighter had to withdraw. Hooker stepped up to fight Makhachev on short notice.

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How can Dan Hooker win this bout?

Hooker enters this fight as an underdog and has not had much time to train for it. This makes it a tough match to win.

Speaking about the upcoming bout, Daniel Cormier said, “Dan Hooker is willing to step up and challenge that, which is crazy because most people ain’t willing to do that. Now for Dan Hooker, he finds himself in a situation where this may be a number one contender’s fight.”

He further said, “Now, is it a great matchup for him [Hooker] stylistically? Seems very difficult. But he’s a man, he’s a fighter, and he’s gonna go out there and try to beat Islam.”

Makhachev’s strength is grappling and his only loss against Adriano Martins was when he was standing. Speaking about this, Cormier said, “I think it is the toughest fight for both guys and if Islam can’t get this fight to the ground, it becomes very difficult for him to just stand with Dan Hooker…. Martins did it [TKO] when he was able to stay standing.”

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In an interview, Henry Cejudo said, “He’s [Hooker] going to really have to work on his wrestling.”

While Cejudo is rooting for his friend Makhachev, Hooker’s best bet definitely seems like he should stay on his feet for as long as possible and avoid getting down for grappling as it is Makhachev’s greatest strength.

Islam Makhachev vs Dan Hookers will take place on October 30th at UFC 267. This might be one of the most exciting fights to watch. Makhachev is considered one of the best fighters and Hooker enters as an underdog in this fight. If the latter manages to win, especially after entering at such short notice, he will be able to set himself apart from all other fighters. However, it will be a difficult task because Makhachev is one great fighter. 

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Who are you rooting for in this bout? Will Makhachev win yet again or will Hooker succeed in defeating him? Let us know in the comments below.

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Rohini Kottu

143 articles

Rohini Kottu is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. She is also a Psychologist and has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Rohini, in her role as a UFC writer, combines her admiration for the mental resilience that MMA fighters have and her love for analysis.

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