‘No One Really Cared About Him’ – Dan Hooker Explains Why the Fight With Islam Makhachev Did Not Happen.

Published 08/23/2021, 10:26 AM EDT
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JUNE 28: Dan Hooker of New Zealand celebrates after winning the UFC Featherweight bout between Dan Hooker of New Zealand and Ian Entwistle of England on June 28, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)


Dan Hooker is one of the most interesting fighters in the UFC today. The Auckland-based fighter last competed in the UFC back in January 2021. ‘The Hangman’ faced Michael Chandler at the UFC 257 event and lost via a first-round TKO.

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This was Hooker’s second consecutive loss, having earlier lost to Dustin Poirier at the UFC Vegas 4 event. Prior to his fight against Poirier, Hooker had faced Paul Felder at the UFC Fight Night 168 main event and won. However, during that time there was also much talk about a fight being made between Hooker and Makhachev.

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During a recent interview with Submission Radio, they asked Hooker about the same and why the fight did not happen. He said, “Look, that was just a taste of his own medicine. Like he was asking for me when the UFC was already talking like he was chirping at me when the UFC was already pin sorting Felder for the main event of UFC Auckland. I probably shouldn’t have even responded, but it’s the way it is.”

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“I already had the fight, but I was just letting him know and I made a joke, it’s banter. I said I have to give tickets away and I would have to stand out front and give tickets away if I have to fight you.”

Dan Hooker talks about how Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement and the rise of Islam Makhachev

Hooker talked about how he already had fights booked with Felder and Poirier. Therefore, could not face Islam Makhachev at that point in time.

He said, “I already had the Felder fight. I should have shut my mouth, but it’s a trait of Dan Hooker, he’s a bit of loose lips. But I already had the Felder fight and after that fight, they were already saying you gotta fight Dustin Poirier next. I already had Felder, I already had Poirier, so it doesn’t make any sense.”

“Once I already had guys ranked higher than me or guys I saw as a tougher challenge for myself, to chase those fights rather than go back.”

Hooker even went on to talk about how Nurmagomedov’s retirement helped Islam Makhachev and his rise in the UFC.

He said, “No one really cared about him until Khabib retired if we are all being honest. He wasn’t really held in the same esteem as long as Khabib was around. But after Khabib retired, he’s gone and moved into that space, or through that void that he’s left behind. But nothing really came of it.”

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Do you think we will see a fight between Dan Hooker and Islam Makhachev? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

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Paras Pande

560 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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