UFC lightweight contender, Dan Hooker is slated for a spectacular month’s turnaround this weekend on the main card of UFC 267 — drawing the surging, Islam Makhachev, with social media sensation, Hasbulla Magomedov set to attend at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island, in support of his countryman, Makhachev. 

City Kickboxing mainstay, Hooker, last featured at UFC 266 in September — taking home a unanimous decision victory over the highly-touted, Nasrat Haqparast, returning to the winner’s enclosure off the back of a two-fight losing skid.

In astounding fashion, Hooker then agreed to replace former lightweight kingpin, Rafael dos Anjos on short notice, clashing with Makhachev on ‘Fight Island’ as part of the main card of UFC 267, tasked with snapping the eight-fight winning streak of the Makhachkala native. 

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This weekend’s card will mark the promotion return to Abu Dhabi, UAE for the first time since a trio of events in January of this year, with reports detailing how social media star, the aforenoted, Hasbulla is set to attend the showcase in support of Makhachev.

Dan Hooker claims he has the support of Hasbulla Magomedov’s rival, Abdu Rozik ahead of his UFC 267 return

Speaking with assembled media ahead of UFC 267, Hooker claimed that Hasbulla “picked the wrong horse” by supporting American Kickboxing Academy trainee, Makhachev — as well as claiming that he would have Hasbulla’s rival, Abdu Rozik in his support this weekend.

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Abdu [Rozik] is on my team,” Dan Hooker joked. “I’ve got a horse in the race now. I’m training my boy, Abdu… I’m not even sh*tting. Abdu is on my team, Hasbulla [Magomedov] can be on his [Islam Makhachev’s] team. He’s picked his horse. He picked the losing horse. Game on, baby.” (Transcribed by Sportskeeda)

Returning to Abu Dhabi for the first time since October 2019, Makhachev has managed to lodge two notable victories of his own this year — dispatching both Drew Dober and Thiago Moises with a pair of dominant submission stoppages, the second of which came in the form of a July main event bout — his first under the promotion’s banner.

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.