Justin Gaethje called out by Dan Hooker following UFC Auckland

Justin Gaethje
Image: @UFC on Instagram

UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje was called out by Dan Hooker following his split decision win over Paul Felder in the main event of UFC Auckland.

Hooker was asked by UFC commentator Dan Hardy who he wants next after beating Felder, and he didn’t hesitate to say that he wants to fight Gaethje.

“I got my eye on someone. I want the battle of the highlight reel. I want Justin Gaethje next. Let’s go,” Hooker said.

Hooker upped his win streak to three straight fights with wins over Felder, Al Iaquinta, and James Vick during that stretch. Gaethje, too, has a three-fight win streak at the moment, with victories over Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza, and Vick. Both men are ranked in the top-10 of the lightweight division and both men are very exciting fighters, so Hooker vs. Gaethje would be a very exciting fight if it were to happen.

However, there’s no sure thing that Gaethje would accept Hooker as an opponent, even though this fight makes plenty of sense from a rankings and entertainment point-of-view. For Gaethje, he has his eyes firmly set on a matchup against superstar Conor McGregor or a lightweight title shot against the winner of UFC 249’s Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson. So there’s no guarantee Gaethje would accept a fight against Hooker.

At the same time, Gaethje hasn’t fought since last September and at some point, he will need to take a fight to stay busy. A matchup against Hooker would be a fun one for the fans and could easily headline a fight night card. If Gaethje truly believes he is the No. 1 contender at 155lbs then he should be able to beat a guy like Hooker and prove to the world he deserves to get a crack at the title. But ultimately it will depend on what the UFC wants to do as far as the matchmaking goes.

Are you down to see Justin Gaethje fight Dan Hooker?