Sunday, October 17, 2021

Hooker On Potential Nate Diaz Fight: All He Has To Do Is Say My Name

UFC lightweight Dan Hooker has left the door open for a potential clash with fan favorite Nate Diaz in the near future.

After a troublesome pre-fight period, which included trouble with New Zealand’s authorities and a struggle to secure a US visa, Hooker made it to the Octagon at UFC 266 last weekend. After riding a two-fight losing skid into the pay-per-view and slipping to #8 in the rankings, Hooker’s clash with Nasrat Haqpqarast was crucial in getting him back on track.

After three rounds of action, “The Hangman” had brought himself back into the win column with a mature and smart performance against his German opponent, who’d also experienced visa trouble ahead of the event. After seemingly having an edge on the feet, Hooker showed his wrestling skills and controlled Haqparast for much of the contest. In the end, the perennial contender’s hard work to make it out of New Zealand paid off. He was awarded a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)

While Hooker has a long period of isolation ahead of him, and uncertainty surrounding his ability to train efficiently in his home country, “The Hangman” is still looking ahead to his next appearance. Despite Arman Tsarukyan telling MMA News that he’d like to fight Hooker in December, the New Zealander called out the #3-ranked Beneil Dariush following his victory at UFC 266.

However, Hooker isn’t limiting his options. During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani‘s The MMA Hour, the 31-year-old was asked about the possibility of clashing with Nate Diaz down the line. In Hooker’s mind, the onus is on the Stockton native to push for the matchup if he wants it.

“Would I fight him? Yeah, I’ll fight him. That’s on him. That’s on him. I’m not gonna go chasing him around. Like, whenever he wants to fight, he’s only gotta say my name. It’s definitely not a difficult fight for him to get.”

Hooker had previously thrown his name into the mix to face Diaz following the popular welterweight’s most recent appearance.

Nate Diaz
Image Credit: Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Diaz was last in action at UFC 263 in June. In what was the UFC’s first non-main event and non-title five-round fight, the younger Diaz brother faced top welterweight contender Leon Edwards. Despite a late surge, which almost saw him finish “Rocky” in the final minute of the fight, Diaz fell to a comfortable unanimous decision defeat.

Having announced his intention to return to the cage before the end of the year, fans have been expecting a fight announcement any day now. After being called out multiple times by Vicente Luque, it appears as if a clash with “The Silent Assassin” is the likely next step for the Stockton star, especially given his apparent acceptance of the Brazilian as his next opponent.

However, if he chooses to venture back to 155 pounds, a blockbuster matchup with Hooker would certainly excite the MMA community.

How do you think a fight between Dan Hooker and Nate Diaz would play out?

Thanks for visiting MMANews.com, a leading source for MMA News since 2002.
Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google News.

Trending Articles