Dan Hooker cracks top 10 in official UFC Lightweight rankings

Dan Hooker climbs to #7 in the official UFC lightweight rankings after his clinical shutdown of Al Iaquinta.

Dan 'the Hangman' Hooker made his presence known in the lightweight division on Sunday, with a decisive victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) over #6-ranked Al Iaquinta in the co-main event of UFC 243.

Iaquinta was unable to get out of first gear, as Hooker shut him down at every turn; keeping him on the end of his punches and crushing his lead leg with calf kicks whenever he tried to close the distance.

The calf kicks soon paid off, one sending Iaquinta crashing to the canvas near the end of round 1. In round 2 the pain was enough to force Iaquinta into the southpaw stance, which is when Hooker really went to work, dropping him with a brutal right hand to the chin at the end of round 2.

In round 3 Hooker played matador to Iaquinta's bull, fighting well at range and splattering blood across his face with his fists while again crumpling his leg with calf kicks. A dominant display by Hooker over his highest-ranked opponent to date.

The victory takes Hooker to a total of 9 wins in the UFC, including winning 6 of his last 7 bouts; all over world-class competition. He climbed 8 places today and is now ranked #7 in the official UFC rankings, behind Paul Felder at #6 and Donald Cerrone at #5,

Hooker is making his title run and will surely be angling for a top-5 opponent next, as evidenced by his call-out of #2-ranked Dustin Poirier in his post-fight interview.

You ask the best looking bird at the party to dance first. 😉 #lifeadvicewithhangman pic.twitter.com/aC061KGYTk

— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) October 8, 2019

A matchup between Hooker and Poirier would surely be action-packed, as both men are known for their accurate striking and finishing instincts. Since Iaquinta was ranked #6, it seems likely Hooker will get a top-5 opponent next, and it will almost certainly be someone coming off a loss. The only men who meet the criteria are Dustin Poirier and Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone (let's not bring McGregor into this).

With the UFC's 2020 timetable not yet scheduled, let's hope they once again bring the octagon to Auckland so that we can see Dan Hooker take the next step in his title run and headline Spark Arena against a top-ranked opponent.

Written by Harry Greenfield

Harry Greenfield is New Zealand Fighter’s Executive Editor. Residing in Christchurch, he has a passion for combat sports, especially MMA, and is our man on the scene down south.

Promoters wishing to contact Harry can reach him at: harry@nzfighter.co.nz