Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Dan Hooker Recalls “Superfan” Turning Up To CKB House With Pizza

UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker has recalled an interesting interaction the City Kickboxing team had prior to this past weekend’s pay-per-view.

On Saturday night, Hooker returned to 155 pounds at UFC 281, opening the main card against rising prospect Claudio Puelles. “The Hangman” was one of four CKB fighters who made the trip from New Zealand to compete inside New York’s prestigious Madison Square Garden.

Hooker was one of two who emerged from the event with a win on their record. Immediately after seeing teammate Brad Riddell submitted in one round, the #12-ranked lightweight avoided the same fate by defending against his Peruvian foe’s heel hook attempts.

Once back on the feet, Hooker went to work against Puelles, who was clearly outmatched on the feet and resorted to a slew of Imanari rolls that had many branding his second-round approach as somewhat desperate.

Having sat Puelles down with a kick to the body, Hooker repeated the strike soon after, forcing referee Keith Peterson to intervene for a TKO stoppage.

Ahead of the PPV, the sizable CKB entourage stayed at a place in New Jersey rather than the fighter hotel. Unfortunately, they weren’t exactly safe from the more dedicated individuals in the fanbase.

During a fight week episode of TheMacLife’s Pub Talk with Oscar Willis, Hooker described a bizarre visit one apparent supporter paid to their pre-fight residence. The man arrived at the door armed with a pizza and a desire to meet the likes of “The Hangman” and Adesanya.

“Okay, this guy β€” the other night, it would’ve been like Wednesday night (during fight week), we get a knock on the door out at the manor in New Jersey, which is like, an hour and a half drive from here in Manhattan,” Hooker recalled. “We get a knock at the door, and there’s a guy there… (A CKB member) saw him and opened the door… The guy was just like, ‘This is blah, blah, blah. I was just wondering if I can meet some of the guys.’

“And he had some pizzas. He’s like, ‘Well, I brought some pizzas, if I could meet some of the guys, that’d be cool.’ He (CKB member) goes, ‘I’ll take the pizzas, but you can’t meet any of the guys.’ Also, we’re very easy to poison, if I’m gonna be honest,” Hooker continued whilst laughing. “The message was, ‘If you’re fighting, don’t eat the pizza.'”

Hooker added that the individual explained his approach by claiming he lived close by. However, he later appeared and sought interactions with the fighters in Manhattan, this time insisting he worked close by.

“The guy said, ‘I just live down the road. That’s why I knew where the place was.’ We come in yesterday, the same guy’s here in Manhattan, saying what’s up to some of the boys,” Hooker said. “His excuse then was, ‘I just work around the corner, and I come down.’ But he’s here today again, so this guy is obviously some sort of superfan.”

Hooker Takes Aim At “Weird” Autograph Hunters

Hooker later compared the man, who he noted wore a trench coat, to ‘autograph hunters’, who seek out famous people to secure signings that they can later sell online.

After branding the practice “weird,” the New Zealand native suggested he’ll create a question to ask those requesting autographs to ensure they’re fans of his, rather than people looking to make money from his signature.

“The guy in the trench coat… motherf*cker’s got a trench coat… ‘I just stayed down the road.’ No you don’t! Stop using that line!” Hooker said. “They’re weird, right? The people hanging around the hotel. Usually, I’m more than happy to take photos with people and sign stuff, but the people here, they seem like they’re not actual fans.

“They seem like if there’s anyone famous anywhere, they’ll just come to the hotel, stand outside, get you to sign something, and then sell it,” Hooker added. “I want to think of a question I can ask them.”

Ultimately, the New Jersey-living, Manhattan-working, trench coat-wearing City Kickboxing fan failed to gain entry to the house in spite of his pizza delivery. And with the fighters cutting weight, the real winners here were the coaches and teammates, who received some free food…

What do you make of the fan turning up to City Kickboxing’s accommodation ahead of UFC 281?

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

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