Monday, May 16, 2022

Volkanovski On Future Hooker Fight: If We Need To Do It, We’ll Do It

UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski has discussed City Kickboxing teammate Dan Hooker’s return to featherweight and the prospect of facing him down the line.

Volkanovski has ruled over the 145-pound weight class since dethroning Max Holloway in late 2019. In defending his title twice, first in a rematch with “Blessed” and then in a grudge match with Brian Ortega, the Australian has extended his win streak in professional MMA to 20 and his unblemished UFC record to 10-0.

While there remain a number of challenges for “The Great” to see off, including upcoming opponent “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, Volkanovski will soon see a new name enter the shark tank at featherweight.

After a struggle for form at lightweight, Hooker, who, like Volkanovski, fights under the City Kickboxing banner, will be returning to 145 pounds this weekend. Soon after his transition down a class became public knowledge, “The Hangman” gave his thoughts on a potential meeting with teammate Volkanovski, suggesting they’d cross that bridge when they get to it.

Now, in an exclusive interview with MMA News, the champion has shared a similar sentiment to Hooker’s.

He claimed that if necessary, the pair would throw down inside the cage, an admission that’s rare in this day and age, with the likes of Gilbert Burns and Vicente Luque, and Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya shutting the door on the possibility of facing each other due to personal relationships.

“It doesn’t really cross your mind until people ask you about it, really. At the same time, this is a sport,” Volkanovski told MMA News’ James Lynch. “You can’t expect these guys not to be in your division. Now he’s chose that division and he thinks that’s the best decision for his career, and I support that.

“Whatever happens, if further down the track we need to do it, then we’ll do it, you know. That’s just how it is. That’s fine. That’s all good. I wish nothing but the best for him and I’m sure he wishes nothing but the best for me. So, if our paths do cross, we’ll worry about that then,” concluded Volkanovski.

Hooker’s First Step To Contention Takes Place This Weekend

After a test weight cut appeared to confirm his departure from the lightweight division late last year, the announcement of a featherweight opponent hammered home Hooker’s return to 145 pounds.

Despite his hopes to fight “The Korean Zombie” or Brian Ortega, the New Zealander has had to settle for a lesser name, but certainly not a decline in competition. In the co-main event at UFC London this weekend, Hooker will enter the cage with rising contender Arnold Allen.

“Almighty” Allen is unbeaten at 8-0 in the UFC and has risen to #7 in the rankings following triumphs over Nik Lentz and Sodiq Yusuff in recent years. While he’ll look to further his stock with the addition of an established name to his résumé, Hooker will be targeting an immediate arrival into the title conversation.

Would you like to see Alexander Volkanovski and Dan Hooker share the Octagon down the line?

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