‘To Me, He’s Just Another Body’- Dan Hooker Says He Will Beat Islam Makhachev on Short Notice

Published 10/01/2021, 10:27 AM EDT


UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker spoke to The Mac Life following the news that he would be facing Islam Makhachev. ‘The Hangman’ is merely a week removed from his decision win over Nasrat Haqparast that got him back to winning ways. He has now opted for a quick turnaround and will go head-to-head against the boogeyman of the division.

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When speaking to Oscar Willis, Hooker was asked to opine on what it meant to step up on short notice to fight Makhachev. Facing Makhachev is in itself a task that several lightweight fighters would likely avoid, let alone on short notice. However, Hooker sees it as an opportunity to become the first man to triumph over the Russian mauler in recent years.

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)

“He’s got a bit of the Khabib mystique has rubbed off him and his last few performances have been fairly dominant. Like I’ve trained with Drew [Dober] and the way that he fought Drew was pretty decisive… “

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“There’s definite skill there but I would love to be the first one to get out there and just make him look human…People can say whatever they’re going to say like ‘Oh this guy is unbeatable, this guy is untouchable. I’ve been in the gym with these guys like they all bleed.”

Hooker continued on to say that Makhachev was merely another body in front of him under the bright lights.

“They all get tired, they all get injured, they all get hurt and I know I can put anyone’s lights out. To everyone else he’s kind of a mysterious character that’s got a lot of mystique and invincibility. To he’s just another body.”

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Dan Hooker: Can’t stop, won’t stop

Hooker is supremely confident in his ability to maneuver through the crowd and come out on top against the very best. He has faced all comers so far and there doesn’t seem to be any challenge he’s not willing to undertake.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: Michael Chandler battles Dan Hooker during the UFC 257 event at UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Should he manage to upset the Russian grappling sensation, Dan Hooker would be on the shortlist for a title shot. However, given Islam Makhachev’s recent performances, he certainly won’t be an outright favorite to reign supreme.

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Darryl Pinto

1930 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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