Dan Hooker
The Hangman

New Zealand

Serves as UFC 257 stepping stone
January 23, 2021
Hooker lost to Michael Chandler via TKO (punches) at 2:30 of Round 1 at UFC 257 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
We have never seen anyone do that to Hooker and likely never will again. Hooker was completely off balance in a fight that lasted all of 150 seconds. He found himself backpedaling for the entire bout before Chandler obliterated him with one sweeping left hook. There were a few more following-up bombs before referee Marc Goddard (correctly) had seen enough. Anytime you see a result like this, it's fair to wonder if the losing fighter's chin is starting to betray him given all the wars Hooker has been over the years. More likely, it was a perfect storm of events that resulted in Chandler putting on the performance of a lifetime. The 30-year-old Hooker has built up plenty of good will with his efforts over the past several years, but he has now lost two in a row and needs a victory his next time out.
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Matched against Michael Chandler
December 22, 2020
Hooker will take on Michael Chandler in a lightweight matchup at UFC 257 on Jan. 23 in Abu Dhabi, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA.nl reports.
Hooker will be looking to bounce back from a loss against Dustin Poirier (who will square off against Conor McGregor to headline the same card) in June, a setback that ended his three-match winning streak. In Chandler, he'll face a 34-year-old making his UFC debut following a long and successful career with Bellator. Early oddsmakers list Hooker as a betting favorite of (-165).
Drops all-time classic in Vegas
June 27, 2020
Hooker lost to Dustin Poirier via unanimous decision (47-48, 47-48, 46-48) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
It was an all-time classic and one that will significantly raise the stock of both men. Hooker started quickly. He made a conscious effort to go to the body and was arguably the more effective fighter over the course of the first ten minutes. Both men unleashed vicious combinations on the other, and both men somehow survived. When the clock hit Round 3, Hooker began to fade a bit. He held his own in the third frame before Poirier began to pull away in Rounds 4 and 5. Hooker did land a few well-timed takedowns, but was so tired he could do nothing with his positional advantage. Hooker also displayed excellent submission defense, as there appeared to be upwards of a half dozen occasions that Poirier had him close to tapping out. Hooker isn't going to be happy with the result, but he fought well and will take home a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus. 99.9 percent of the fighters on the roster would have been done in the first two rounds with the heavy artillery Hooker threw Poirier's way. The Kiwi is undoubtedly one of the most talented lightweight fighters in the world.
Enters week as underdog
June 22, 2020
Hooker enters the week as a (+180) betting underdog for his lightweight matchup against Dustin Poirier at UFC on ESPN 12 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
This is a matchup originally finalized in late-May that was once rumored to take place on Fight Island, but it looks as if Hooker has been able to take care of any travel restrictions put in place that could prevent him from making the trip to Vegas. Hooker put the lightweight division on notice when he emerged victorious in a five-round war against Paul Felder in February, bringing his winning streak to three. Hooker also currently has an impressive victory against Gilbert Burns on his resume, especially considering Burns will be fighting for the welterweight title next month. Hooker will take on a fighter in Poirier who dropped his most recent fight to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in September, but had previously compiled a four-fight winning streak with three stoppages and four post-fight bonuses. While Hooker owns a solid striking volume mark of 4.76 significant strikes landed per minute, Poirier posts a slightly higher one of 5.51. Poirier also has better striking defense, and takedown volume indicates Poirier is more comfortable using his wrestling if need be. On the other hand, Hooker is a year younger than Poirier and will also enter with three-inch advantages in both height and reach.
Potential fight date set versus Poirier
May 23, 2020
Hooker is tentatively scheduled to square off against Dustin Poirier in a lightweight matchup on the UFC's June 27 card, Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie.com reports.
Per the report, Hooker's fight versus Poirier would likely be held at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, pending the travel restrictions from New Zealand being lifted to allow Hooker to make the trip to the United States. If that doesn't come to fruition, the contest would potentially be moved to the UFC's "Fight Island" event in July. Hooker will own height and reach advantages of three inches against Poirier, and while Hooker has put together a solid resume of late, Poirier has been fighting elite lightweights and featherweights for the entirety of a UFC/WEC career dating back to 2010. Poirier also has statistical edges in striking volume, striking defense and offensive wrestling, though Hooker does sport a superior takedown defense rate. Sportsbooks jumped on this exciting matchup shortly after its announcement, lining up Hooker as roughly a (+140) betting underdog.
San Diego card called off
April 2, 2020
Hookier will no longer face Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC San Diego on May 16, as the California State Athletic Commission has cancelled all combat sports events until June due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marc Raimondi of ESPN reports.
Hooker picked up his third consecutive victory against Paul Felder in February, narrowly getting the nod via split decision in a Fight of the Year contender. That was going to be enough to propel him to another main event spot against the company's No. 2 lightweight contender, but that event will no longer come to pass -- at least in the state of California. Hookier had been a (+140) betting underdog for the matchup at the time of cancellation, and it remains to be seen what the UFC intends to do with this proposed bout moving forward.