Dan Hooker
The Hangman

New Zealand

Potential fight date set versus Poirier
LightweightUFC
May 23, 2020
Hooker is tentatively scheduled to square off against Dustin Poirier in a lightweight matchup on the UFC's June 27 card, Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Per the report, Hooker's fight versus Poirier would likely be held at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, pending the travel restrictions from New Zealand being lifted to allow Hooker to make the trip to the United States. If that doesn't come to fruition, the contest would potentially be moved to the UFC's "Fight Island" event in July. Hooker will own height and reach advantages of three inches against Poirier, and while Hooker has put together a solid resume of late, Poirier has been fighting elite lightweights and featherweights for the entirety of a UFC/WEC career dating back to 2010. Poirier also has statistical edges in striking volume, striking defense and offensive wrestling, though Hooker does sport a superior takedown defense rate. Sportsbooks jumped on this exciting matchup shortly after its announcement, lining up Hooker as roughly a (+140) betting underdog.
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San Diego card called off
LightweightUFC
April 2, 2020
Hookier will no longer face Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC San Diego on May 16, as the California State Athletic Commission has cancelled all combat sports events until June due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marc Raimondi of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Hooker picked up his third consecutive victory against Paul Felder in February, narrowly getting the nod via split decision in a Fight of the Year contender. That was going to be enough to propel him to another main event spot against the company's No. 2 lightweight contender, but that event will no longer come to pass -- at least in the state of California. Hookier had been a (+140) betting underdog for the matchup at the time of cancellation, and it remains to be seen what the UFC intends to do with this proposed bout moving forward.
Goes to war, comes home victorious
LightweightUFC
February 22, 2020
Hooker defeated Paul Felder via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) at UFC Fight Night 168 in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
It looked like Hooker was cruising through the first 12 minutes of this fight, establishing his range beautifully and countering Felder's attacks. The New Zealand native began to visibly fade as a result of Felder's pressure soon after, however, which resulted in him having to take a lot of punishment over the last two rounds. Hooker used his grappling to stem the tide, but it's clear the best moments down the stretch were for Felder. Regardless, the judges saw it the way of the hometown boy, giving him his third consecutive victory. The back-and-forth affair also earned each fighter $50,000 for Fight of the Night honors. Hooker called out Justin Gaethje after the performance and while his athleticism and reach would be big weapons against "The Highlight," it's worth asking how he would deal with the pressure down the stretch. In any case, it seems as though lightweight isn't going to get any less interesting in the near future. Hooker moves to 20-8 in professional MMA as a result of the win.
Enters as hometown favorite
LightweightUFC
February 16, 2020
Hooker enters as approximately a (-145) betting favorite for his lightweight matchup against Paul Felder at UFC Auckland on Feb. 22.
ANALYSIS
Both Hooker and Felder are coming off strong years in 2019, with each picking up a pair of victories. Hooker will get the home-town crowd again for this one, fighting in Auckland for the third time in his career. He'll also have a slight height advantage over Felder, plus a sizable five-inch reach advantage. Neither fighter has been credited with a takedown since 2017, so look for this one to play out primarily on the feet. Hooker has a big edge in volume striking over his UFC run, but he's been more than willing to get hit in order to land, averaging 4.73 significant strikes landed per minute compared to 4.72 significant strikes absorbed. That type of output could be highly desirable for prospective fantasy owners given this will be a five-round fight.
Gets hometown fight
LightweightUFC
November 27, 2019
Hooker will face Paul Felder in his hometown of Auckland, New Zealand on Feb. 23.
ANALYSIS
Hooker defeated Al Iaquinta in nearby Australia back in October, his sixth win in his last seven matches. He's set to fight in Auckland for the third time in his UFC career, having been victorious in both previous bouts. In Felder, he'll face an opponent who's ranked just one spot ahead of him in the lightweight rankings (6th).
Dominates Al Iaquinta at UFC 243
LightweightUFC
October 5, 2019
Hooker defeated Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) at UFC 243 on Saturday in Melbourne, Australia.
ANALYSIS
Iaquinta is a quality, quality opponent, and Hooker made him look like nothing more than roster depth. Armed with a size, length, and power advantage, Hooker stood at distance and picked Iaquinta apart with strikes. When his opponent did try to close the space between the two, Hooker shrugged him off and controlled the ground exchanges between the two men. Hooker was credited with 71 total strikes landed compared to just 71 from Iaquinta. Outside of one poor performance against Edson Barboza last December, Hooker has been untouchable for the better part of the past three years. In his post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier, Hooker asked for/demanded a 2020 fight against Dustin Poirier. Sounds good to us.