Friday, August 19, 2022

Dan Hooker Prepared for “Straightforward” and “Simple” Barboza

This Saturday, Dan Hooker will step into the cage for the biggest fight of his MMA career when he takes on #5-ranked Edson Barboza in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 31. But that doesn’t mean Hooker is feeling the pressure heading into Saturday night…far from it:

“This is what I live for,” Hooker told MMAjunkie. “For opportunities like this, and to compete against the best and to compete against top-five ranked opponents. This is where I get to showcase my skills. It’s been very easy to get up for this. This is why I look for the toughest challenge possible, because now all the training becomes very simple. It becomes very easy when you’re standing in front of a task that big and a name that big. It becomes very easy to get up, very easy to get motivated for the training camp. It’s been mentally not as hard as when you have a lesser-name opponent and you have to motivate yourself for training.”

As for his opponent Edson Barboza, Dan Hooker believes that while Barboza is talented, he is very easy to scout, which helps boost Hangman’s confidence heading into the pivotal lightweight bout:

“As an opponent stylistically, it’s pretty straightforward with what he’s bringing to the table,” Hooker said. “It’s a simple game, like he’s going to strike and he’s going to defend takedowns like his life depends on it. I don’t feel like that is going to change. He’s very big for the weight class, he’s very fast, very strong. But let’s say the same things that make us strong, make us weak.

“Because he’s so good at those things I feel like he’s set on those things. He’s not showing the same development as a fighter as a lot of different guys and he doesn’t have the versatility that you need to continue to do well in the sport for an extended period of time. I feel like as soon as you get stuck on one thing and you just get set on that, then you cap your development, you put a cap on longevity as a fighter. So for me it’s important to stay versatile and constantly developing my game, which is my biggest priority.”

Do you agree with Dan Hooker? Has Edson Barboza become too “straightforward” and “simple” in his fighting style?

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