Dan Hooker still planning UFC title reign despite recent skid: ‘I’m not interested in anything else’

Dan Hooker
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger - Zuffa LLC

Despite a recent losing streak ahead of his incoming UFC return next weekend in Madison Square Garden, Auckland striker, Dan Hooker admits he’s still hopeful of landing Octagon spoils. And if he ever feels like that goal is unattainable, he will likely leave the promotion.

Set to return at UFC 281 later this month in a lightweight division return, Hooker will draw Peruvian grappling prospect, Claudio Puelles beneath a middleweight title fight between challenger, Alex Pereira, and teammate, champion Israel Adesanya.

Retaining the #12 rank in the official lightweight rankings, New Zealand native, Hooker has been sidelined since March of this year, suffering a first round knockout loss against Ipswitch native, Arnold Allen at UFC London.

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The defeat followed a short-notice submission loss to recently minted undisputed lightweight champion, Islam Makahchev last year in October on ‘Fight Island’.

Dan Hooker admits he suffered an “ego death” amid his losing streak

1-4 in his last five Octagon appearances, City Kickboxing striker, Hooker admits he still has plans to clinch a UFC championship in the future – and hopes to kickstart that run with a win over Puelles in the ‘Big Apple’.

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“You will not see me compete in the UFC if the objective is not a world title,” Dan Hooker told Submission Radio during a recent interview. “I’m not interested in anything else. I’m not interested in the money. I’m not interested.”

“Nothing else interests me except having the belt,” Dan Hooker continued. “Because the belt means you’re the best fighter in the world. And when I lose sight of that, yeah, I really find no interest in fighting without the opportunity to become the best in the world.” 

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Without a victory since September of last year, Hooker displayed his grappling and wrestling ability en route to a unanimous decision win over the touted prospect, Nasrat Haqparast back at UFC 266.

In other notable Octagon victories, Hooker has defeated Jim Miller, Marc Diakiese, Ross Pearson, James Vick, Al Iaquinta, Paul Felder, and former welterweight title challenger, Gilbert Burns.