Friday, July 1, 2022

Hooker On Makhachev Fight: “I Can KO or Submit Any Man In the World”

Dan Hooker isn’t letting Islam Makhachev’s mystique shake him. 

With 31 professional fights to his name, there isn’t much that Hooker hasn’t come across in the cage. It’s this experience that leads “The Hangman” to be confident heading into his UFC 267 bout against Makhachev. It also means that he won’t be mentally beaten before making the Octagon walk later this month. Hooker elaborated on his mindset in an interview with Sports Illustrated.

“To me, any fight is a 50–50 contest,” Hooker says. “I know full well that I could submit any man in this world, or that I could knock out any man in this world. Now he’s got a lot going on; he created a lot of momentum. A lot of guys are beaten before they even step into the Octagon with him, but that’s something that won’t happen with me. I’m too experienced; I’ve been in the fight realm and these dogfights. My fans and I both know he’s in for a fight, and that’s a fact.”

Dan Hooker
A victorious Dan Hooker. Image Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from being one-punch KO’d in his second UFC appearance, Makhachev has looked all but perfect on fight nights. He is currently on an eight fight win streak and was last seen submitting Thiago Moises in July. 

In Hooker’s last contest, he took a unanimous decision over Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266. When the news broke that Rafael dos Anjos had to back out, Hooker stepped up and accepted the match with Makhachev. Taking the bout meant that Hooker would have to stay in America due to New Zealand’s strict COVID-19 policies. 

So, not only is Hooker fighting one of the hottest fighters in the sport, he’s going weeks without seeing his family and normal training partners ahead of the bout. 

Who do you see winning between Dan Hooker and Islam Makhachev at UFC 267?

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