Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Dan Hooker Provides Explanation For Recent Skid

UFC veteran Dan Hooker has assessed what’s caused his recent torrid run of form, which has seen him go 1-4 across his last five fights.

In the words of the man himself, being a fan of Hooker isn’t an easy ride. “The Hangman” has always been regarded as a fan favorite, owing to the wild and entertaining brawls that he’s brought to the Octagon throughout his UFC career. Unfortunately, it’s appeared those bouts have begun to catch up with him in recent times.

After a five-round war with Dustin Poirier in 2020, Hooker hoped to remain in the lightweight title picture by crashing the welcome party of former Bellator champ Michael Chandler. In less than three minutes, the New Zealander was finished.

While a rebound performance against the unranked Nasrat Haqpqarast provided some hope, a short-notice mauling at the hands of Islam Makhachev last October set Hooker back and forced a change.

But while the 32-year-old was optimistic about his chances of returning to form at featherweight, a co-main event spot against top contender Arnold Allen at UFC London proved to be too much. A defeat inside The O2 brought Hooker his third first-round defeat in less than a year-and-a-half.

Now, having been outcasted from the championship picture at lightweight and faltered upon his return to 145 pounds, Hooker has given an honest assessment of what’s been going wrong for him.

Hooker: “It’s Arrogance On My Part”

During the UFC Vegas 52 episode of his weekly event recap with The AllStar, Hooker discussed the factors that have caused the worst run of his career to date.

The New Zealander’s lockdown troubles and lengthy periods away from his family throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have been heavily publicized. While Hooker received widespread praise and admiration for his commitment to fighting, it appears it wasn’t as manageable as he made it seem.

According to Hooker, he was arrogant to think he could perform at the top of his level under the circumstances he was under. For that, he put the entire blame on himself.

“Because I’m a big guy on like, mind over matter. But that’s, like, these last two years have taught me; it’s that mind over matter works in certain situations but not in all situations,” said Hooker. “You cannot rely on—and it’s like, a bit of, not a bit, like, it’s just arrogance on my part, too. It’s like, a lot of acknowledgment that I have to take.

“It’s arrogance on my part, thinking that I can beat guys of these caliber under the circumstances that I’m trying to do it under. Like, it’s crazy. And there’s only one excuse for that; it’s that my approach is arrogant,” added Hooker. “So, obviously, I have to take a step back and address that.” (h/t Sportskeeda)

Since his latest failing at UFC London last month, not much has been reported regarding Dan Hooker’s next steps. Many have suggested the return to featherweight should be put to a halt following the Arnold loss. And it seems Hooker may be on the same page.

He recently responded to an open callout from former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos on Twitter. The Brazilian’s call for a summer opponent was met by “The Hangman,” who is perhaps leaving the 145-pound class in his rear-view mirror for the second time.

Do you think Dan Hooker can bounce back from his current skid?

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