Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Bisping Questions Dan Hooker’s FW Move: Looking For Smaller Guys?

Michael Bisping isn’t sure what Dan Hooker’s motivations are for making the move to featherweight ahead of the UFC London card.

Hooker will make his return to 145 pounds against the red-hot Arnold Allen at UFC London this weekend. He opted to make the move out of the lightweight division following losses in three of his last four fights.

This will be Hooker’s first fight at featherweight since falling via a unanimous decision to Jason Knight in Nov. 2016. He went on to move to 155 pounds and win seven of his next eight fights.

During the BT Sport UFC London live preview show, Bisping questioned why Hooker would opt to move back down to featherweight at this point in his career.

“Well, I don’t know. I think he’s trying to find himself,” Bisping said of Hooker. “I mean, obviously he’s lost three out of his last four against very, very good opposition, so no shame in that. But he went up to 155, now he’s come back down to 145. He says that that’s his natural weight class. I don’t know if it is. I think maybe he’s looking for, not easier competition because it’s not easier, but maybe smaller guys? Maybe less wrestlers? I don’t know.”

Hooker has also had to adapt to the wild past couple of years that his gym, City Kickboxing, has had to go through during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of his fight against Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266, Hooker had issues getting to the U.S. from New Zealand and showed up to fight week just days before the scheduled bout.

Another interesting angle to Hooker’s move is a potential title fight down the line with his teammate and featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. While he is getting ready to face ‘The Korean Zombie’ at UFC 273, Volkanovski hasn’t ruled out a future matchup with Hooker if he moves into title contention.

First thing’s first for Hooker, who faces a tough challenge in Allen who has won 10 bouts in a row. If he’s able to get past Allen at UFC London, Hooker could be well on his way to making his second stint at featherweight into a potential career-changer.

How do you think Dan Hooker will perform in his featherweight return?

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