Dan Hooker set to fight in Texas at UFC 192

Dan Hooker set to fight in Texas at UFC 192

In Hooker’s last fight at UFC Fight Night 65 in Adelaide earlier this year, he reigned supreme coming off with an impressive win knocking out Japanese veteran Hatsu Hioki with kicks and punches at the end of the second round. This fight also saw Hooker win his first fight of the night receiving $US50.000.

Dan Hooker set to fight in Texas at UFC 192

We asked Hooker what the feeling was like receiving the news of his next UFC matchup, “The volume on everything else that has been going on in day to day life got turned right down. The blinders go on in a sense and for the next two months this fight is my absolute focus.”

Hooker’s newly named opponent Yair Rodriguez is a Taekwondo black belt specialist hailing from Mexico. Rodriguez was also named the winner of the hit TV show “The Ultimate Fighter – Latin America” under Team Velasquez in 2014. “I have watched a few of his fights and think it will be an exciting match up. But I’m a fighter so I watch it from a fighter’s perspective.” Hooker explains.

Although Rodriguez has a Taekwondo black belt, he has finished opponents by submission, decision and KO proving to be a well-rounded mixed martial artist – just like Dan Hooker, “Everyone in the modern game is well rounded. At this level it is the ability to adapt your skill set to your next opponent. From head-kick to choke my goal is to get the other guy out of there as fast as possible.”

Yair Rodriguez ufc 192 vs Dan Hooker nz

Hooker is currently the only New Zealand born UFC fighter still training and competing out of NZ – Auckland to be exact, “The support I get every time I fight from everyone in NZ is great. All the comments and messages I receive are motivating. New Zealand has a strong history of fighters I’m just the first one that’s had this opportunity. But it won’t be long until the UFC ranks are stacked with kiwi boys.” Hooker expresses proudly.

This fight will see Dan Hooker compete for the very first time in America where he may expect to be greeted as the underdog but Hooker is still confident in his ability and the coaching team behind him, “I have a good team of people helping me prepare for this fight.  I have from wrestling to strength and conditioning some of the best combat sports minds in the country in my corner, and a crew of world-class fighters grinding with me.”

As well as sealing the deal on this upcoming fight; Hooker has also signed a 4-fight contract deal with the UFC so expect to see more of “The Hangman” in UFC cards to come. Hooker states, “No one steps in there for anything other than a victory, there is no one on the planet I would hesitate to fight”

Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

Part 2: Close Up on Weigh in