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Dan Hooker Denies Ducking Islam Makhachev, Calls Out ‘Ugly Girl At The Dance’ Beneil Dariush

Dan Hooker claps back at Islam Makhachev for claiming he turned down a fight, and reveals who he would like to face next

Dan Hooker Denies Ducking Islam Makhachev, Calls Out ‘Ugly Girl At The Dance’ Beneil Dariush

Recently, top lightweight prospect Islam Makhachev claimed that Dan Hooker turned down a fight with him. Now the Kiwi has responded to these claims, while revealing who he would like to face next.

Hooker has been in a tough position as of late, with back to back defeats suffered. Although when you consider who he has dropped fights to, it is not necessarily the biggest setback one can suffer.

Dan lost a 2020 bout to Dustin Poirier, but it was an incredibly close and exciting affair. He then turned around to welcome former Bellator champ Michael Chandler to the Octagon, ultimately falling to first round knockout.

Denying Claims Of Islam Makhachev

While these defeats are not embarrassing by any means, Dan Hooker now needs to get back in the win column in a big way. One man who has offered to take him on, is highly regard prospect and Khabib Nurmagomedov protege, Islam Makhachev.

Islam claimed that he offered himself to fight Dan, but that the Kiwi fighter declined. However in a recent interview, Dan denied these claims, saying that there was never an offer that reached him from the UFC, to take this fight, although he would be down to take it.

“I guess the only reason that fight didn’t get put together was (Islam) wasn’t ready to go in June. That’s the only thing I can see from my end,” Hooker said.

“He’s got himself another fight [against Thiago Moises], (if) he gets through (that) or whatever, I’m ready to go. I never stipulated an opponent. I’ve never been offered that fight. That name has never come across my desk so it’s funny.

“He’s a top, talented up-and-coming guy but there’s Gregor Gillespie, there’s a bunch of other guys coming into the division so it’s like it’s a very hard division to make a name for yourself and standout but as far as I’m concerned he’s got a fight,” Hooker added.

Dan Hooker Wants Beneil Dariush or Tony Ferguson

With the fact that he did not get offered a fight with Islam, there are still questions about who Dan Hooker may face instead. He says that he has no real concern on who is opponent is or where they are ranked, but he has two potential foes in mind.

If Tony Ferguson is free to fight and is healthy, Dan says that would be a dream fight for him. On the other hand, given the streak that he is on, Dan would also be down to face the man who most recently beat El Cucuy, Beneil Dariush.

“I would say (Ferguson and Dariush) are two great fights for me. Those are two fights that I would really love,” Hooker said.

“I feel like Tony is just a guy that I would love to fight. I feel like the fans would love to see that fight, I feel like everybody wants to see that fight, and I’m sure that will be one heck of a fight. It’s just funny that you’ll get less credit for beating him now, even though I feel like it’s just as tough of a fight than he was three fights ago…

“That fight, when the name gets said, that’s a fight that gets me excited. That’s a fight where you get goosebumps, and you get the adrenaline pumping. And really as a fighter, that’s what we’re in this for,” Hooker continued before adding

“Beneil, yeah, good performance, great performance (against Ferguson). I feel like Beneil’s that ugly girl at the dance. Now Beneil, I’m not calling you ugly mate, but I don’t mean that in an offensive way. I mean that as in I feel like he’s probably the most talented guy, skill for skill.

“I feel like he’s the most skilled guy in the division, I feel like he’s one of the most well rounded guys, but he doesn’t have the name recognition that some of the other guys in the top five have. Like, if you’re looking at the top five in the division, Beneil Dariush is probably the most unknown guy, but in my opinion the most underrated guy,” Hooker said.

Who do you want to see Dan Hooker face off against next?

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