Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Dan Hooker Doesn’t Bite On Arman Tsarukyan’s Latest Callout

UFC lightweight Dan Hooker has responded dismissively to Arman Tsarukyan‘s latest callout, which came after the 24-year-old’s victory at UFC Vegas 37.

After a constant back-and-forth with Hooker leading up to their respective fights this month, Tsarukyan was the first of the two to be in action. On last weekend’s main card, the surging lightweight faced Christos Giagos.

Having secured three unanimous decision victories in a row, the Armenian-Russian was looking to establish himself as a contender with his first finish in the promotion. In emphatic fashion, he did just that, stopping ‘”The Spartan” with strikes inside the opening round.

In the build-up to his fourth consecutive victory, much of the talk had surrounded Tsarukyan’s ongoing rivalry with Hooker. The pair’s animosity began after the #13-ranked lightweight answered the 31-year-old’s UFC 266 open callout. Not long after, Tsarukyan’s clash with Giagos was announced.

The Georgian-born fighter then accused “The Hangman” of “ducking” him in an interview with MMA News. Hooker responded by branding his fellow 155–pound contender a “dumbass” for starting a feud with him when he already had a separate fight booked.

Even during his fight week, Tsarukyan kept some focus on Hooker. During UFC Vegas 37 media day, the 24-year-old made his feelings on the #8-ranked lightweight known, suggesting he wanted to “kill” him. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that Tsarukyan had Hooker’s name on his lips in his post-fight interview.

“You know, last four fights I had decisions. Sean Shelby said you have to finish if you want to grow up. Now, I did it and think I can fight top-10 or top-five guys. Let’s go, I’m ready! I want to beat Hooker. Let’s do it.”

During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Hooker responded to Tsarukyan’s latest callout. The New Zealander said he’s too focused on his upcoming fight against Nasrat Haqparast to think about what comes next for him after UFC 266.

“Yeah, well, I will say man, I have been in a bit of a whirlwind. Yeah, I saw the callout and I was just like man I got enough on my plate. I have got enough on my plate to… I don’t have time to kind of think about what’s happening next. So yeah, I will get in there with Nasrat. That’s my hundred percent focus at the moment.” (h/t Sportskeeda)

It seems the state of the pair’s rivalry will be determined by Hooker’s clash with Haqparast at UFC 266 this weekend. The fight had been in jeopardy after “The Hangman” had to take to Twitter in a desperate bid to have his US visa approved in New Zealand.

Thankfully, the 31-year-old sorted his issues and looks set to arrive in Las Vegas for the pay-per-view later this week. But with Haqparast facing his own issues over in Germany, it doesn’t appear that the matchup is out of the woods just yet.

Would you like to see Dan Hooker and Arman Tsarukyan collide inside the Octagon?

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