Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker Verbally Agreed To For UFC 243

Al Iaquinta Dan Hooker

Dan Hooker wanted a bout with Al Iaquinta and he’ll get it.

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reports that Iaquinta vs. Hooker has been verbally agreed to. The lightweight tilt is set to take place inside Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. Iaquinta and Hooker are scheduled to throw down at UFC 243 on Oct. 5.

At first, it seemed hope for the bout was lost. Hooker said he wanted the bout, but insisted that Iaquinta wasn’t interested. “Raging” denied Hooker’s claim, but “The Hangman” told MMAJunkie.com that he was ready to move on.

“(Iaquinta is) not taking the fight; I’ll fight (Alexander) Hernandez,” Hooker said. “I’m going to be in Melbourne anyway, so I may as well have a fight,” Hooker said. “I felt good. That’s three of my last four fights that have been first-round knockouts. I have no idea why (Iaquinta) keeps leading the fans about fighting on the card, but the UFC is telling me it’s not happening. I’m indifferent. If he’s busy, I’ll move on. No tire kickers, please.”

Iaquinta is coming off a unanimous decision loss against Donald Cerrone. While Iaquinta hung in tough, he was battered by “Cowboy” as the fight got deeper. He’ll look to avoid back-to-back defeats.

As for Hooker, he’s coming off a first-round knockout victory over James Vick. The finish earned him a “Performance of the Night” bonus. Hooker has gone 5-1 in his last six outings.