Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Dan Hooker Prefers Early Stoppages Than Late For Teammates

UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker has given his assessment of the stoppage in the UFC 281 main event between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira.

At this past weekend’s pay-per-view event, fans witnessed a dramatic title change inside the prestigious surroundings of New York City’s Madison Square Garden. The victim of the championship switch was Adesanya, who had his lengthy and dominant middleweight reign ended.

While “The Last Stylebender” was minutes away from a certain victory on the scorecards, one that would have marked his sixth successful defense, he was stopped late in the fifth round after being caught by the same left hook that knocked him out inside the kickboxing ring back in 2017.

While he was left unconscious in the pair’s kickboxing rematch, there was certainly some ambiguity to the finish on Saturday night when the pair competed against each other in MMA for the first time.

Initially, Adesanya protested referee Marc Goddard’s stoppage, as did some fans, fighters, and pundits on social media.

But while the Nigerian-New Zealander’s City Kickboxing teammate Dan Hooker admitted that he’d feel the same way if he was in the former champ’s shoes, he explained the different feeling he has, given his close relationship with Adesanya.

Hooker: “As A Friend, I Just Want Him To Be Alright”

During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, Hooker looked back on the UFC 281 event, which also saw him return to form at lightweight with a TKO victory over Claudio Puelles, and the finish that closed it out.

“The Hangman” assessed both sides of the coin, with one being his knowledge of Adesanya’s toughness and ability to recover, and the other being his desire to see his friend and teammate avoid serious damage.

With that in mind, Hooker noted that he’d much rather see a friend and training partner stopped early rather than late.

“It’s a weird line to walk. Even as a friend, because I know what he’s capable of, and because I’ve been there in the past,” Hooker said. “You have to absolutely kill (me). You say that as the fighter. You go, ‘Make sure I’m dead.’ They know me, I don’t even have to say it… You, as the fighter, is always gonna think that.

“Me, watching it as a friend, I just want him to be alright. As a friend and as a teammate, I’d rather it too early than too late,” Hooker added. “As a fighter, obviously you’re like, ‘Make sure I’m really not moving,’ but as a friend, as a teammate, I would prefer it to be too early than too late.”

While Adesanya protested the stoppage immediately after Goddard stepped in, and has since insisted that he would’ve been able to recover, he’s also taken onboard his team’s view on it, which is seemingly one of understanding for the British referee’s decision.

What did you make of Marc Goddard’s stoppage in the UFC 281 main event?

Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.

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