Dan Hooker eyeing matchups against Tony Ferguson or Charles Oliveira to end 2020

Dan Hooker
Image Credit: Dan Hooker's Instagram (photographer not listed)

Fresh off a Fight of the Year candidate versus Dustin Poirier, lightweight contender Dan Hooker is eyeing fights against Tony Ferguson and Charles Oliveira.

Hooker and Poirier went toe-to-toe for 25 minutes in the main event of last weekend’s UFC on ESPN 12 event in what many are calling one of the best fights of the year. Although Hooker lost a unanimous decision at the end of the five rounds, his stock went through the roof after hanging in there for the full 25 minutes and giving Poirier everything he had.

Speaking to Submission Radio a few days after the fight, Hooker spoke about what’s next for him. The New Zealand native says that he’s eyeing fights against Ferguson and Oliveira as he looks to get another big win to remain in the elite of the stacked lightweight division.

“I’ve got my eyes on who I want to fight next, and I think it’s either gonna be Tony or it’s gonna be Oliveira. I think either one of those fights is another main event. But then, Oliveira, he’s getting carried away calling out Poirier and calling out Conor (McGregor), and he’s beating around the bush, trying to say anyone except me or Tony,” Hooker said (via MMAjunkie.com).

“He’s a funny guy. But yeah, I’ll have to wait and see, because obviously Tony makes way more sense for me. But if I have to go back and then solidify my place in the top five, I’m happy to do that. I just want to fight and I want to fight before the end of the year, and either of those two names makes sense for me.”

Hooker is currently the No. 5 lightweight in the UFC, while Ferguson is ranked at No. 3 and Oliveira comes in at No. 6. With Ferguson coming off of a TKO loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 in another Fight of the Year candidate, a fight against Hooker, who is also coming off of a loss, makes a lot of sense for both men.

As for Oliveira, he’s on a seven-fight win streak at the moment and in his last bout tapped out Kevin Lee. The UFC typically matches up winners with winners and losers with losers, but not always. With Hooker being ranked just above Oliveira in the rankings, perhaps the Brazilian will be keen to take the fight.

Who should Dan Hooker fight next, Tony Ferguson, Charles Oliveira, or someone else?