Dan Hooker Explains Why he is Sticking Around at Lightweight

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Dan Hooker
Image Credit: Dave Mandel of Sherdog.com

Claiming that it would take ‘a million bucks’ to see him fight at featherweight again, New Zealand’s Dan Hooker seems content at 155-pounds

Hooker’s impressive knockout victory over Ross Pearson in his hometown of Auckland confirmed to him why he is better fighting in the lightweight division:

“Let’s just put it this way, it’d take a million bucks to get me back down to featherweight,” Hooker said ahead of UFC 219 (via MMAFighting). “I ain’t going back.

“Just, I feel like myself (at 155). I was stepping in there at feather and I just felt like I was taking away from my abilities. I think the most [it affected me] was mentally. I felt not clear-headed in there and I couldn’t think, and my skill and my ability to out-think the other guy is what separates me from the rest of the pack. So rather than carrying the extra size, trying to be bigger and stronger, I just scrapped the weight cut, scrap all of that, I’m just going to fight at my weight and do my skillset justice, and I think I can beat anyone in the world doing it like that.”

Hooker will square off against the outspoken Marc Diakese at UFC 219 on Saturday night and insists that the trash talk game is something he is unwilling to engage in:

“I’m not even going to get into the back-and-forth of it,” Hooker said. “Like, it’s childish. It’s not what I’m about. I come here for a fistfight, not for an argument. Saying I don’t look like a fighter — what does a fighter look like? I don’t know.

“I’m a man about it, I’m not going to create something that isn’t there. If I have drama with a guy or I actually dislike someone, I have no problem sorting it out. I have no problem getting into conflict about it. I enjoy conflict. It’s what I like to do, physical conflict. I like confrontations. I’m not going to create something though. That’s fake. I’m not fake. I’m just here. I’m sitting here and I’m just being who I am. I’m not creating anything, I’m not trying to put on a persona. It’s just not who I am.”