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Dan Hooker says ‘it’s a real possibility’ he returns to featherweight, targets Korean Zombie – MMA Root



Dan Hooker says ‘it’s a real possibility’ he returns to featherweight, targets Korean Zombie

Dan Hooker may have a weight change on the horizon.

The longtime lightweight recently teased his return to featherweight by posting an online video in which he successfully scored 145.9 points. On MMA hour Hooker explained Wednesday that he did a test haircut to prove to skeptics that if he decides to go back to 145 pounds, he can do it safely.

“I made weight,” Hooker said. “This is not for me, I know I can handle this weight. This is to try to convince a few people to be convinced. Obviously my coaches weren’t particularly interested in my return in 45, but I’m raising the scale and making everything look pretty easy to be honest.

“From the moment I was there in the past to where I am now, it is obvious that science and the people who are part of the UFC, such as Charles [Stull] The Angry Nutritionist, a nutritionist I work very closely with, and Clint [Wattenberg] and all the people in PI were – everything went smoothly. It took me two weeks to lose and gain that much weight, so if I can do it in two weeks on vacation, you give me a fight, that’s a completely different story. “

According to Hooker, he lost the same weight as when cutting to light. Hooker did not elaborate on what his usual starting weight is, but said it would usually take a week’s diet to go down to 155 pounds, followed by a time in the sauna, while going down to 145 pounds would require a stricter diet and a tighter weight. – cutting procedure.

The process was facilitated by the fact that Hooker and his family are currently in Las Vegas, where he has access to the UFC Performance Institute. Having this facility and its personnel at his disposal means that the lightweight attempt is now vastly different from five years ago when he last fought in the division.

Nothing official was discussed, but Hooker made it clear that losing weight wouldn’t be an issue if the opportunity presented itself.

“This is very likely,” Hooker said. “The problem was I didn’t really ask, I was just talking to Geordie. [Sullivan] and Charles, my dietitians, that’s all. I just talked to them, just agreed, did my job and did it. I haven’t even spoken to the UFC about it, so maybe Sean Shelby saw it, maybe not. Let’s see.”

Hooker knows that his team would not approve of a test version based on his past difficulties. However, given that he lost three of his last four lightweight fights, including a first-round submission to Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 in October, Hooker had to consider his options.

If he can gain featherweight, Hooker believes he has advantages that he did not have at 155 pounds.

“First, it’s just an advantage that I didn’t take advantage of, to be honest,” Hooker said. “There are a number of advantages that I have not taken advantage of, but this is just one of them. So it’s kind of moving forward and learning from the past. You have to make adjustments for the future, and this is just one of them. Coming back, working with my team, this is a journey that opens up to the world. I am looking forward to the future. I feel like featherweight is a weight class that I can really excel in, and a weight class where I can truly benefit from all my advantages.

“In the same turn I will return to New Zealand and in the future I will train and participate in full camp fights. Travel with the full coaching staff, and then compete in a weight category that I’m happy with and pretty comfortable with. So I’m definitely looking forward to the future. “

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, Hooker faced a number of complications when a strict protocol was introduced in his home country of New Zealand that restricted the operation of his city kickboxing gym and also made it extremely difficult to book fights. Over the past four fights, Hooker has been in quarantine away from his family for the equivalent of months.

Now that his professional and personal life, relatively speaking, has begun to improve, Hooker can afford to look into the future. If it is a featherweight bout, he is referring to one particular dance partner.

“Head and shoulders, the # 1 guy I would like to get there with would be the Korean Zombie,” Hooker said. “I would love to drop Zombie.

“So I don’t know what people were saying, so I just put it there, got on the scale, lifted the weight, and I feel like you’re just letting people decide. The one that people want to see me up against is kind of convincing the UFC. What everyone wants, everyone can get, but for me it would be a “Korean zombie” on the head.

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