Dan Hooker excited for ‘a crazy fight’ with Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266: ‘It’s the perfect fight’

Dan Hooker
Image Credit: UFC

Dan Hooker finally has a fight after months of pleading with the UFC to get him one.

Due to how New Zealand is doing their quarantine, Hooker says if he didn’t fight at UFC 266 he likely wouldn’t have been able to fight for another six months to a year. With that, he knew UFC 266 was his last shot to fight this year. So, after months of asking for a fight, he finally got one as he will face Nasrat Haqparast on the prelims of the card which surprised many. Yet, for “The Hangman” he has no problem with it.

“It’s not how I look at things, I have created a fight when there was absolutely no fight,” Hooker said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I just knew I needed to fight on this date in September. The card was full, I didn’t have an opponent. I pressed the UFC and Sean Shelby to get me a fight on a full card and pull an opponent out of nowhere. If I wasn’t Dan Hooker and I haven’t done the heavy lifting I have done, I wouldn’t be fighting on this date or be getting a paycheck. I’m looking at it from a very different scenario where I pulled a fight completely out of my ass.”

Although Hooker created a fight on a full card, many were curious as to why he was fighting an unranked guy in Haqparast. However, Hooker makes it clear, he doesn’t care about any of that. Instead, he’s only focused on becoming the champion, not defending his spot in the rankings.

“That is the completely wrong mentality, what do I achieve on sitting on number eight and defending number eight?,” Hooker said. “Do I want to be known as the eighth-best lightweight in the world for the rest of my career? I couldn’t care less about being known as the eighth-best fighter on the planet. I want to be the best fighter that is the only focus. Then you say, oh what about this if you lose, well I’m not going to lose. That’s not where my mind drifts to.”

With Dan Hooker creating a fight out of nowhere, he is glad Hapqarast is his opponent at UFC 266. The Kiwi knows this is a fan-friendly fight for the fans and a good fight for him to put on a good performance and get back into the win column.

“Stylistically, you can watch this kid fight and he’s not going anywhere. He’s going to stand in front of you and be there and fight. It’s the perfect fight,” Hooker said. “This is an exciting matchup, I’m excited to get out there. I think it’s going to be a crazy fight and fans aren’t going to want to miss this.”

If Hooker does get his hand raised, he believes it will be the start of a winning streak and a chance to move up the rankings. The Kiwi says he may call someone out but he hopes a top-10 opponent is next for him.

“It’s back on a winning streak. You aren’t going to get anywhere in the division without a couple of wins,” Hooker concluded. “This is turning the ship in the right direction. It will be hard to deny me a top-10 fighter with a win over Nasrat.”

Who do you think wins at UFC 266, Dan Hooker or Nasrat Haqparast?

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