‘I’ve Never Been Offered That Fight’- Dan Hooker Rubbishes Islam Makhachev’s Claims

Published 06/04/2021, 8:41 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 Dan Hooker sat down with Submission Radio and shared his current status following his loss to Michael Chandler. ‘The Hangman’ has been out of action since January and is looking to get back into the cage. Chiefly, Dan Hooker was looking to get onto the upcoming UFC 263 card where his teammate Israel Adesanya serves as a headliner.

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However, Dan Hooker hasn’t been able to find a dance partner in the lightweight division that has undergone certain changes. One name that has popped up frequently has been the surging lightweight from Dagestan, Islam Makhachev. The Dagestani grappler has been on record saying he’s been angling for a fight against Hooker, a claim that Hooker dismissed in his interview.

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What’s next for Dan Hooker if not Islam Makhachev

Hooker clarified that he’s yet to ever receive an offer from the UFC to face off against Islam Makhachev. Dan Hooker explained that the UFC moved in a different direction with Makhachev as news broke that he would fight Thiago Moises. Hooker’s response puts to bed the speculation as to why he wasn’t matched up for UFC 263.

“I guess the only reason that fight didn’t get put together was he wasn’t ready to go in June. That’s the only thing I can see from my end. He’s got himself another fight [against Thiago Moises], he gets through or whatever, I’m ready to go. I never stipulated an opponent. I’ve never been offered that fight. That name has never come across my desk so it’s funny.”

“He’s [Makhachev] a top, talented up-and-coming guy but there’s Gregor Gillespie, there’s a bunch of other guys coming into the division so it’s like it’s a very hard division to make a name for yourself and standout but as far as I’m concerned he’s got a fight.”

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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)

With Islam Makhachev matched up, Dan Hooker is looking to face former 155-pound champion Rafael Dos Anjos. Traditionally, beating ‘RDA’ has been the fastest way back into the title picture as seen with Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington. Dos Anjos is a tried and tested veteran with a style that would be explosive against Hooker.

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Darryl Pinto

1607 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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