Dan Hooker Gives Israel Adesanya The ‘Feeling of Getting Dropped’ in Training Exercise

Dan Hooker explains training footage of him seemingly beating on the UFC's middleweight champion

Dan Hooker
Courtesy of Between Two Beers podcast on YouTube

No. 13 ranked UFC lightweight Dan Hooker recently appeared on the Between Two Beers podcast on YouTube to discuss a multitude of things from his 13-year career as a mixed martial artist.

During the conversation, Hooker was asked about footage of himself training with the reigning UFC middleweight world champion Israel Adesanya. In the video which was uploaded on Adesanya’s YouTube channel, Dan Hooker can be seen dropping bombs on ‘The Last Stylebender’ as part of a ground and pound exercise called ‘Spider.’ 

“That workout we do is called spider. You do that around the time you fight. So if you’re fighting on a Saturday night, we all come in on a Saturday night. Most of us fight… We all know we watch UFC on Sunday, like mid-day afternoon so that’s when we do our spider. It’s like a fight simulation. We just do a bunch of exercises. Fatigue ourselves and then you just get rotated through, so there’s no winning spider. There’s no way you can possibly win there. You’re just in the middle getting, like a shark tank, switching guys every 20-30 seconds after you’re already extremely fatigued. That’s what that is.

“He was giving me sh*t about that video and I was like, ‘you posted it on your YouTube. It’s on your channel.’ I have a rule, no cameras. No cameras at spider. I think we should have a team rule, no cameras because there’s obviously no winning it. What I’m doing there is, I had someone else reference that clip. I can’t remember who it was. They’re like, ‘I thought you guys were one of the smartest gyms and you’re world champions and this and that, and you’re just training dumb and giving each other brain damage.’ I was like no, you obviously don’t know what you’re looking at.

“It’s my job during spider to spike that guys adrenaline. Give him that feeling of getting dropped in a fight and then you start remember, ‘oh man, there’s like 50 million people watching this.’ If that doesn’t spike your adrenaline, nothing will. That’s part of spiders, getting that fight or flight switched on and getting the adrenaline spiking. Just being able to replicate handling that adrenaline and not losing your cool once that adrenaline completely spiked. 

“I’m not actually teeing off on him. That intensity is there, but I’m experienced enough in the sport that I’m mainly just punching his shoulders or slapping with this part [motioning to the first set of knuckles] of my hand. It’s not like you’re dropping full power, like punching shots.”

Dan Hooker and Israel Adesanya Will Share The Stage at UFC 281

Dan Hooker and Israel Adesanya will share the stage at UFC 281 on November 12th. The ‘Hangman’ has lost four of his last five contests, albeit to some of the division’s best including Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, and Islam Makhachev. He’ll attempt to get back into the win column against streaking Peruvian Claudio Puelles. Winner of five straight, Puelles could get the biggest win of his UFC career with a victory over Dan Hooker.

In the evening’s main event, middleweight king Israel Adesanya will put the title on the gold on the line against rival Alex Pereira. While the two have never faced off in the Octagon, they are far from strangers. Pereira met twice under the Glory Kickboxing promotion in 2016 and 2017. Pereira won both fights and famously knocked out Adesanya in their second meeting.

With Pereira’s first-round knockout of Sean Strickland at UFC 276, the Brazilian secured his shot against ‘The Last Stylebender.’ Now the two will meet once again in what could technically be considered a trilogy bout. 

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