Dan Hooker Steps In On Short Notice Vs Islam Makhachev For UFC 267, Makhachev Favored To Beat Hooker

Dan Hooker has agreed to replace Rafael Dos Anjos in a lightweight bout against Islam Makhachev at UFC 267. The event will be held on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island on October 30.

The New Zealand star (21-10 MMA, 11-6 UFC) just beat Nusrat Haqparast at UFC 266 to make up for his bizarre last outing against Michael Chandler at UFC 257. Though Hooker went viral on MMA Twitter, Makhachev is dubbed the favorite in the matchup.

This was the third time a scheduled showdown between Dos Anjos and Makhachev fell apart.
The Dagestan MMA ace has been unbeaten in his last eight UFC bouts. He had earlier taunted Hooker for a fight before he was booked with Dos Anjos. Hooker was open to fighting him, but the UFC got him a fight with Haqparast instead.

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The Hangman recently opened up about the problems he has been facing in New Zealand due to the country’s travel policies.

Due to strict quarantine rules, he will not be able to see his family for a few months and remain in the US until he gets to share the cage with Makhachev.

“I knew I was the only guy, the only real option, but yeah, they called me up and I’m a happy man! I’ll see you in Abu Dhabi! (Laughs) I called up the missus, get out the red panties baby!” Hooker told The Mac Life on Thursday.

“Now it’s indefinite. It’s not like it’s just stupid money. It’s money to justify what they’re asking me to do, right? They’re asking me to pretty much leave my country so with that I need enough to set up a life here for however long,” he added.

Hooker and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya have already decided to move to the US from New Zealand.

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