Dan Hooker: If I beat Dustin Poirier “there’s only three fights” that make sense

Dan Hooker

If Dan Hooker defeats Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC on ESPN 12 this weekend, he believes there’s only three opponents that make sense for his next fight.

Hooker feels that a win over Poirier should earn him a lightweight title shot, which would mean a fight with the winner of the upcoming title unification bout between undisputed champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Justin Gaethje.

If a title shot doesn’t materialize, Hooker views Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor—staples of the lightweight top-5—as viable options. That being said, he doesn’t intend to call either man out. He believes they should call him out.

“Well, let’s just talk about the facts,” Hooker said on Submission Radio. “[If] I beat Dustin Poirier there’s only three fights in my future. That’s either fight for the title, fight Tony Ferguson or fight Conor McGregor. I feel like I have the best claim to the title with a win, especially a stoppage win, I feel like I have the best claim to the title. So, I feel like I’m in a position to get called out and get called out by either Tony Ferguson or Conor McGregor.

“They can come to me, they can come to me. I’m gonna play it cool for once, I reckon,” Hooker added. “If he’s [Tony Ferguson] fit, if he’s healthy and if he wants it, if he calls for it. Beating Dustin puts me next in line, and I feel like if Tony wants to fight me, then he can ask the UFC or he can call me out for once. I’ve been calling these guys out for years, I’ve been spending my entire career calling guys out, and I feel like with this fight, it puts me in a position where I’m not a guy that’s running around chasing all of these people, I feel like they can come to me. So, if he wants it, he can definitely ask the UFC and I’ll be happy to get the fight. But that’s not a fight that I feel like I need to call for.”

While Hooker is interested in fights with Ferguson and McGregor, and believes the former might be interested, he doubts McGregor will call him out.

“He would be stupid to come and get that fight,” Hooker said of MCGregor. I’m just being honest. Not skill for skill. I’m very aware it’s in his best interest to fight another pay-per-view draw, fight another name guy that draws pay-per-views or draws the general public’s attention to him. I’m a fighter from a very small country in New Zealand. Our market is very small. Whereas him, even though he’s from Ireland, there’s a huge Irish fanbase in the US, so he has a large audience there and a large appeal in the US. So, it would just come down to numbers, and when it comes down to numbers, I don’t feel like I’m the best fight for him.”

Who do you think Dan Hooker should fight next if he beats Dustin Poirier this weekend?