Dan Hooker says Al Iaquinta is ducking him

Dan Hooker

Following a brutal first-round KO win over James Vick last weekend at UFC San Antonio, lightweight Dan Hooker called out fellow contender Al Iaquinta for a fight at UFC 243 in Australia this October.

The fans wanted to see the fight, and it seemed like both fighters were into it. Not so, says Hooker. The Kiwi claims that the UFC told him Iaquinta turned the fight down. Here’s what Hooker said on his social media:

“UFC told me you turned down the fight. Quit acting like you want to fight me, you don’t.” – Dan Hooker

Hooker has won five of his last six fights since moving up to the lightweight division, with all of those wins coming by way of stoppage. His lone loss since moving up to 155lbs was a beatdown to Edson Barboza last year. Otherwise, he’s looked incredible in his proper weight division after years of cutting far too much weight to make the featherweight limit of 145lbs. At featherweight, he was just another guy. At lightweight, he’s top-15 material.

As for Iaquinta, he is coming off of a five-round lopsided decision loss to Donald Cerrone at UFC Ottawa back in May. However, he had beaten Kevin Lee before that in an upset and also gave UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov a tough fight as well back at UFC 223 on super short notice. Iaquinta is one of the best lightweights in the world and a fight against Hooker would stylistically be very fun for the fans.

We’ll see what happens with this potential fight, but there seems to be too much interest from the fans to just ignore it. At the same time, both fighters need to sign the contract, so let’s wait and see what happens as this story is far from being over.

Do you hope the UFC is able to book this fight between Al Iaquinta and Dan Hooker?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/28/2019.