Monday, December 5, 2022

Dan Hooker Eliminates Two Veterans From Potential UFC 284 Return

Dan Hooker wants to return on the UFC Perth card against anyone in the division except two former titleholders.

Hooker defeated Claudio Puelles in his lightweight return at UFC 281 last Saturday in New York City. He snapped a recent losing skid, including a featherweight return against Arnold Allen that ended in a first-round knockout.

Hooker, a mainstay of the UFC’s lightweight title picture, is full of confidence following his win over the streaking Puelles. He showed off technical striking and strong fight IQ to wave off Puelles’ ground attacks.

After the win, Hooker issued an open invitation to anyone in the UFC lightweight rankings for his next fight. He’s targeting a return at UFC 284 in February for the promotion’s return to Australia in Perth.

Despite his open callout, Hooker doesn’t want two specific names as a part of the conversation for his next bout.

Dan Hooker Expresses Disinterest In Rafael dos Anjos & Tony Ferguson

MMA Fighting

During a recent interview with The AllStar, Hooker scoffed at possible fights with Tony Ferguson and Rafael dos Anjos.

“Obviously I’ll fight them if they put their hands up, but those are two guys… like RDA said he’s no longer got his eyes on the title…Tony, I don’t know what he’s up to,” Hooker said. “They didn’t answer the question that I went there and asked. I asked them to answer on the weekend, which is go out there and prove where you belong in the division. Went out there, fought an unranked guy…made him look silly and proved to everyone that I’m a caliber of a ranked fighter, and I should be competing against the upper echelon guys of the division.

“I wanna fight guys who are hungry. Guys who are on streaks, who are on momentum that I can take from them. Those are two guys that I don’t see with a lot of momentum behind them.”

Ferguson lost to Nate Diaz in the UFC 279 headliner earlier this year. He’s lost five fights in a row and hasn’t picked up a lightweight win since defeating Donald Cerrone at UFC 238.

As for dos Anjos, he got back in the win column against Renato Moicano at UFC 272 before a knockout loss to Rafael Fiziev. He’s hinted that his time competing in the Octagon is numbered and that chasing a title isn’t his goal.

Hooker wants to get back into the lightweight title picture and feels fights against Ferguson and dos Anjos wouldn’t provide him a boost. As he awaits his next opponent, he’s provided the UFC with two options not to consider for the upcoming booking.

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