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Dan Hooker admits possibility of fighting Conor McGregor a big reason he took Michael Chandler fight

Dan Hooker admits possibility of fighting Conor McGregor a big reason he took Michael Chandler fight

Dan Hooker

Dan Hooker would be lying if he said the possibility of fighting Conor McGregor wasn’t a big reason why he accepted a fight with Michael Chandler.

After weeks of speculation, it was finally made official by the promotion that Hooker would be the one to welcome Chandler in the co-main event of UFC 257 taking place January 23 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

It’s an opportunity for Hooker to not only return to the win column following his defeat to Dustin Poirier last summer, but also steal the shine of Chandler whose UFC debut is highly-anticipated.

And the New Zealander believes he’s a bad stylistic matchup for the former Bellator lightweight champion.

“They invested a whole lot of money to get this guy out of his contract and get him over to the UFC, and they are going to throw him in with me who is a bad stylistic matchup,” Hooker told SCMP MMA. “And I’m gonna break the toy in five minutes. I can’t say I feel sorry for them.”

One reason Hooker wanted the fight was because of how highly the UFC was valuing Chandler by making him the official backup for the UFC 254 headliner between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.

As a result, Hooker believes a win over Chandler would put him right back into the title mix.

However, another major reason was the fact that it would be on the undercard of UFC 257 which is headlined by a lightweight bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

That doesn’t only mean more eyeballs on Hooker, but also the possibility of stepping in to face McGregor should something happen to Poirier.

“Like we’re definitely on that card to back up that fight,” Hooker explained. “Dustin trains in Florida — that’s like the wild west for COVID from what you read online. The UFC need to have a backup for this fight so that’s what we’re here for.

“I’d be lying if I’m saying that’s not a big reason why I jumped at the opportunity to not only fight Michael Chandler, but to be on this card and to have that possibility… that’s the McGregor roulette, baby. You’re going to have a chance at winning the McGregor roulette. He’s not lying when he’s saying get the red panties out because it’s going to change your life! As a fighter, you’ll do anything for that fight.”

You can watch the full interview below:

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