Dan Hooker is determined to get straight back to fighting top lightweight contenders after suffering a unanimous decision loss against Dustin Poirier at UFC on ESPN 12 this past weekend. Hooker and Poirier threw down for five rounds in one of the best fights 2020 has had to offer. Ultimately ‘The Diamond’ began to dominate the bout in the later rounds and the judges scored the fight unanimously in his favour.

Speaking to Submission Radio post-fight Hooker expressed his belief that the only two logical opponents for his next fight are Charles Oliveira and Tony Ferguson, he said.

“They shuffled the rankings around a little bit. Felder dropped below Oliveira, and Dustin moved above Tony. So, it’s interesting times. So, obviously the two fights that make the most sense is Dustin verses Tony, and then me verses Oliveira. Those two fights make the most sense, right? But then, yeah, if Dustin wants to sit the rest of the year out and Tony wants to fight, well then I’m the next logical fight for Tony. So, I want to get back in there before the end of the year for sure. One hundred percent I’m gonna fight again before this year closes out. And if Tony wants to get back in there, then I think that fight makes a lot of sense, if I’m being honest.”

Hooker admits Ferguson is his preferred next opponent and believes he’ll be successful in his second shot at a top-five fighter in as many fights, he said.

“That’s best-case scenario for me, obviously is fighting Tony Ferguson. That’s number three, and I get another crack at number three. My first crack at number six was Barboza, and that went like shit. And then my second crack t number six was Al Iaquinta, and then I whooped him. So, I think I do better on my second time around the roundabout.”

The New Zealander also has a message for potential opponent Oliveira who he believes is getting carried away with recent call-outs of Poirier and Conor Mcgregor.  

“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, and I think either one of those fights is another main event,” Hooker said. “But then, Oliveira, he’s getting carried away calling out Poirier and calling out Conor, and he’s beating around the bush, trying to say anyone expect me or Tony. 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.”

Who do you think Dan Hooker should face next?