Dan Hooker

The Hangman

New Zealand

Quick turnaround at UFC 267
LightweightUFC
October 11, 2021
Hooker (foot) has agreed to face Islam Makhachev in a lightweight matchup at UFC 267 on Oct. 30 in Abu Dhabi, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Hooker recently overcame visa issues and made it to Las Vegas to face and defeat Nasrat Haqparast on Sept. 25. He emerged with a potential foot injury, but this announcement suggests he's since received the proper clearance to compete. Now looking to take another step forward in the lightweight rankings, Hooker will step in for the previously-scheduled Rafael dos Anjos to face an opponent in Makhachev who is riding an eight-fight winning streak. Many see Makhachev as a future champion, so it's no surprise to see Hooker listed as a (+350) betting underdog or greater in many places. While Hooker lands more than double the significant strikes per minute as Makhachev, the perceived deficiency here is grappling. Hooker does sport a respectable 80 percent takedown defense, but he's never faced a wrestler as adept as Makhachev who lands 3.31 takedowns per 15 minutes at an unheard of 65 percent accuracy rate.
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Foot needs clearance
LightweightUFC
September 28, 2021
Hooker is facing a six-month medical suspension, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Hooker was able to defeat Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision last weekend. He will need to have an x-ray on his foot and if positive will need doctor clearance to be able to fight again before late March.
Rebounds with stellar effort
LightweightUFC
September 25, 2021
Hooker defeated Nasrat Haqparast via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) at UFC 266 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
In a fight that looked like it might fall apart on multiple occasions due to both men dealing with work visa issues, Hooker left no doubt who was the better man. It was a particularly strong effort on the heels of back-to-back losses to Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier. Hooker took the Chandler defeat, his most recent, particularly hard. He appeared to doubt his motivation and abilities, but the rebound here was strong. Hooker was the more physical fighter, landing some vicious knees and constantly taking the center of the Octagon and controlling the pace of the fight. Hooker asked for Beneil Dariush in his post-fight interview. Many call outs are ridiculous, but this one makes plenty of sense. Hooker's next challenge will be to string together a streak of victories. He has the ability.
Booked for UFC 266
LightweightUFC
August 16, 2021
Hooker will take on Nasrat Haqparast (leg) in a lightweight bout at UFC 266 on Sept. 25, Cole Shelton of BJPenn.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Hooker last fought in January, and he struggled mightily when he lost to Michael Chandler via TKO (punches) at 2:30 of Round 1 at UFC 257. He'll attempt to bounce back against Haqparast, who defeated Rafa Garcia via unanimous decision in March but suffered a left fibula injury that resulted in a six-month medical suspension. Hooker has advantages in both height and reach.
Serves as UFC 257 stepping stone
LightweightUFC
January 23, 2021
Hooker lost to Michael Chandler via TKO (punches) at 2:30 of Round 1 at UFC 257 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
We have never seen anyone do that to Hooker and likely never will again. Hooker was completely off balance in a fight that lasted all of 150 seconds. He found himself backpedaling for the entire bout before Chandler obliterated him with one sweeping left hook. There were a few more following-up bombs before referee Marc Goddard (correctly) had seen enough. Anytime you see a result like this, it's fair to wonder if the losing fighter's chin is starting to betray him given all the wars Hooker has been over the years. More likely, it was a perfect storm of events that resulted in Chandler putting on the performance of a lifetime. The 30-year-old Hooker has built up plenty of good will with his efforts over the past several years, but he has now lost two in a row and needs a victory his next time out.
Matched against Michael Chandler
LightweightUFC
December 22, 2020
Hooker will take on Michael Chandler in a lightweight matchup at UFC 257 on Jan. 23 in Abu Dhabi, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA.nl reports.
ANALYSIS
Hooker will be looking to bounce back from a loss against Dustin Poirier (who will square off against Conor McGregor to headline the same card) in June, a setback that ended his three-match winning streak. In Chandler, he'll face a 34-year-old making his UFC debut following a long and successful career with Bellator. Early oddsmakers list Hooker as a betting favorite of (-165).