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Dan Hooker: Israel Adesanya vs Jan Blachowicz ‘Makes Me Incredibly Nervous’ For Israel

Dan Hooker reflects on his loss to Michael Chandler, previews teammate Israel Adesanya's fight with Jan Blachowicz, and looks back on a time that he fought a 286lb heavyweight

Dan Hooker: Israel Adesanya vs Jan Blachowicz ‘Makes Me Incredibly Nervous’ For Israel

With both men training out of City Kickboxing, Dan Hooker knows just how good Israel Adesanya is. That being said, he is still worried for his teammate, in Izzy upcoming champ-champ fight against Jan Blachowicz.

Do not be fooled by the two-fight losing streak, Hooker is a very talented fighter. The lightweight division is ultra stacked, with top level athletes all the way through the roster.

He went toe-to-toe with Dustin Poirier for five rounds, and won the Fight of the Night in his losing effort. He was then tasked with welcoming former Bellator champ Michael Chandler to the Octagon, but was knocked out in the first round.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Dan “Hangman” Hooker (@danhangman)

 

Dan Hooker Lost Concentration For A Second

There was a lot of hype around Michael Chandler, ahead of his fight with Dan Hooker. However the Kiwi says that he did not underestimate the former Bellator champ.

Speaking in a recent interview, Dan made it clear that he knew exactly how dangerous, fast, and explosive Chandler was going to be. However he briefly lost his concentration, which landed him unconscious on the canvas.

“I definitely didn’t underestimate any of his abilities,” Hooker said.

“He just caught me with a good shot. I didn’t see the shot. I lost concentration for like a fraction of a second. My mind drifted for a second or two and I lost concentration, and I didn’t see the punch.

“The punch you don’t see is a dangerous punch. Any punch you see is something that you can brace yourself for at the last second, react to, and receive.

“There’s a million different things that I could have done different and change the result of that fight, but it’s in the past now. I can’t change the past, I can’t jump in a time machine, go back, and do any of those other things.

“I can only move forward, and look on the rest of my career. There’s no point dwelling on the mistakes, you just correct them and move on.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Dan “Hangman” Hooker (@danhangman)

 

Dan Hooker Fought A Heavyweight

While he currently fights at lightweight, Dan Hooker used to compete as low as featherweight. While he found some success at that weight, there is no denying that 155lb is the right division for him.

However he apparently had one fight against someone who outweighed him by more than a hundred pounds. Back in the day, Dan took on heavyweight Marc Creedy, in a modified Pride rules contest.

Hooker explained that he took the fight on short notice when his teammate fell out of the fight. Despite Creedy weighing a whopping 286lb, Dan was able to get the win by wearing out his foe, and even landing a soccer kick in the process.

“I was like (185lb) going into that fight. I fought at featherweight, so I fought at (145lb) like two weeks before that, so I got really fat in two weeks,” Hooker explained.

“It was a good fight, I thoroughly enjoyed the fight. It was a tough test. He was by no means a slouch. He had a bunch of kickboxing fights, a bunch of pro MMA fights, he fought for New Zealand’s professional heavyweight title… That’s still, to this day one of my favorite matches.”

Hooker goes on to detail how the first round of this fight, which was ten minutes long, saw him try taking the back of his much larger foe. However Marc easily shook him off and beat him up on the ground.

Then in the second round, he got the takedown of Creedy again, ending in turtle. However instead of trying to take his back again, Dan decided to take advantage of the Pride-esque ruleset.

“Instead of throwing my hooks in and taking his back, I just came around and soccer kicked him right in the eye,” he explained.

“I couldn’t believe believe he stood up. I kicked him in his face as hard as I could possibly kick. Then to do that to someone, and then they stand up? I’m like ‘What do I have to do to get this bloke out of here?'”

Hooker planned on going out swinging, but Marc ended up calling it quits. However he still enjoyed the fight, and how back and forth the contest ended up being.

Israel Adesanya vs Jan Blachowicz Is A Tough Fight

Aside from his own career endeavors, Dan Hooker is helping to prepare his teammate, Israel Adesanya for his next fight. The middleweight king is moving up to 205lb, in order to face Jan Blachowicz in a champ-champ fight.

As much as Dan supports Izzy, he admits that this is a tough fight for his training partner. He says that watching this fight, he will be biting his nails in fear of what could happen to Adesanya.

“The Israel fight, that’s one I’m going to be chewing my nails to, watching that fight,” Hooker explained.

“Jan is a beast. Jan is a very dangerous guy, and that’s a huge fight for him. That’s an incredible fight, but that fight makes me incredibly nervous.

“But Israel’s a special case, because whenever you put an incredibly tough test in front of him is when he does his best work. It’s funny because every fight he’s gone on to, where I’ve felt this way about… he does his best performances.”

“I can remember from memory, two fights I was nervous about were the Derek Brunson fight and the Rob Whittaker fight, and those are two of his best performances of his entire career,” Hooker continued. 

“I don’t want to say that’s how the fight’s going to play out, but the quality of  his opponents bring out his best performances, so I feel like Jan, this is the most dangerous fight of his entire life. Israel is a fighter that really rises to the occasion, and it’ll be hard to bet against it.”

It will be interesting to see if Dan Hooker is right, and Israel Adesanya can rise to the occasion against Jan Blachowicz. Moreover, fans will be watching to see what Dan does with his next moves, as well.

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