Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Dan Hooker Reveals How He’s Fixing The Flaw That’s Led To Losing Skid

UFC lightweight Dan Hooker has revealed that he’s turned to some ‘trusted’ people for help in turning around his fortunes inside the Octagon.

Entering the summer of 2020, Hooker was ranked inside the lightweight top five, riding a three-fight win streak, coming off a main event victory over Paul Felder, and boasted a 7-1 record in the division.

Fast forward to summer 2022, and “The Hangman” finds himself at a crossroads in his career following four defeats in five outings. After setbacks against Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, and Islam Makhachev left him out of contention at 155 pounds, Hooker sought a rebound in his former weight class, featherweight.

But at UFC London earlier this year, the New Zealander’s pursuit of fresh pastures saw him land in stoppageville once again, this time at the hands of Arnold Allen after just two-and-a-half minutes.

Now nearly three months past his failed trip to England’s capital, Hooker has spoken about his future in an interview with The Mac Life. The veteran fighter noted the key issue that him and his team have identified following his poor run of form: he simply can’t say, “No.”

“I definitely identified that as a major problem, my impulsive decision-making. If I get offered something, you don’t have to ask me twice,” acknowledged Hooker. “I’m just like, ‘Yeah, alright.’ With the Allen fight, I knew at the time, I was telling myself, ‘This is a sh*t time,’ I had tested positive for Covid, hadn’t trained properly with my team for six months, was recovering from Covid, and they’re like, ’10 weeks, you wanna fly to the complete opposite side of the world and fight someone?’

“In my head, I was like, ‘Nah, this is a sh*t idea,’ but as I’m saying that to myself, I’m typing like, ‘Yeah, cool, I’ll see you there.’ I definitely identified that I cannot — I thought I could control it… But it’s just, nah, it can’t be,” added Hooker.

That, as well as a previous comment that saw Hooker admit to a level of arrogance in thinking that he could compete at the highest level given the conditions he was under, has left “The Hangman” making changes.

Hooker Hands Over Booking Duties

Having identified the biggest issues in his mindset and approach, Hooker revealed to Oscar Willis the big adjustment that he’s made ahead of his attempt to return to form back at lightweight next time out.

“We’ve put some buffers in place, some people that I trust. Obviously, my coach, Eugene Bareman, and Ash (Belcastro) run a management company and they take care of a lot of the boys… That’s like, someone I trust with my career, Eugene Bareman, so he’s the one handling things now,” revealed Hooker.

City Kickboxing coach Bareman co-owns Attain Peace Sports Management. By handing over admin duties to the team, Hooker will join good company, with the likes of UFC champions Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski also under the care of Bareman.

Do you think handing over booking duties to a management team will help Dan Hooker bounce back?

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