Thursday, December 2, 2021

Hooker Suggests He’s Wiping His Tears With Cash After UFC 267 Payday

Despite falling to a first-round submission loss at the hands of Islam Makhachev at UFC 267, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Dan Hooker on Halloween weekend.

On Saturday, Hooker secured himself a bag that wasn’t even on the table just over a month ago. After returning to the win column with an intelligent decision victory over Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266 in September, “The Hangman” found himself signing another bout agreement just days later, this time against the surging #5-ranked contender.

After former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos withdrew from his scheduled clash against Makhachev, Hooker stepped in on short notice. The narrative ahead of the fight surrounded the belief among the Dagestani’s camp that the New Zealander barely had a chance. Believing he knew something that they didn’t, Hooker repeatedly implied he’d shock the world in Abu Dhabi.

Ultimately, Makhachev’s pressure and skill on the ground proved too much for Hooker. In the opening round, he was taken down and submitted with a brutal kimura. While Makhachev pursues a title shot or title eliminator, Hooker will be looking to rebound yet again in his next outing.

Hooker Previously Denied Taking The Fight For The Paycheck

Ahead of the main card clash, many had suggested Hooker’s reason for accepting the short-notice bout was money-motivated. Makhachev’s manager Ali Abdelaziz claimed the #6-ranked lightweight was showing up simply for the payday. After Hooker requested the fight be changed to five rounds, Makhachev chimed in, suggesting the New Zealander’s desire for a 25-minute distance was rooted out of his search for a bigger paycheck.

“Honestly, I think Hooker come to Abu Dhabi just for make money,” Makhachev said in an interview with BT Sport. “That’s why he ask about five rounds, because he know. Some fighters, they give five rounds, they paid more money. I think before, when he took this fight, he asked about more money, too. He say, ‘I’m gonna fight this one, but you guys just have to pay me more.’ He come to Abu Dhabi just (to) do good business, you know?”

Having previously claimed he never fights purely for the remuneration, Hooker has seemingly admitted that it’s provided some consolation for his disappointing defeat inside Yas Island’s Etihad Arena. In a tweet that was deleted shortly after, Hooker posted the following GIF of actor Woody Harrelson wiping his tears with a stack of bills.

Woody Harrelson Crying GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

While it’s likely Hooker was simply jesting about the pre-event narrative surrounding his decision to step-up to face the surging Russian, the paycheck he likely received certainly must have helped him cope with his third defeat in four outings.

Who would you like to see Dan Hooker face next?

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