Dan Hooker Steps in for RDA to Fight Islam Makhachev at UFC 267

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Dan Hooker UFC 266
Dan Hooker, UFC 266 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Fresh off his victory at UFC 266, Dan Hooker has agreed to fight again in exactly one month as he steps in for Rafael dos Anjos to face Islam Makhachev at UFC 267.

Fresh off a taxing odyssey, UFC lightweight Dan Hooker will be returning to the cage in exactly a month to take on surging prospect Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 on October 30.  ESPN was first to report the news, citing UFC President Dana White.

Earlier this week, Makhachev’s original opponent Rafael dos Anjos admitted that he had undergone a recent knee surgery and that, though unlikely, he was still trying to keep the October 30 fight intact.  At the time he said he was waiting until the end of the week to decide, and it is apparent that he ultimately was unable to still compete.

Dan Hooker is fresh off a statement victory over Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266 in which both men faced personal turmoil with visa issues to get to the United States for the fight.  The entire situation was the catalyst for Hooker, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, and other key members of City Kickboxing in New Zealand to come out and say they were strongly reconsidering moving to the United States in order to maintain an active schedule.  Hooker is 2-2 in his last four fights, besting Haqparast and the now retired Paul Felder and losing to top contenders Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler.

Islam Makhachev is on an eight fight win-streak and is quickly becoming one of the biggest threats in the lightweight division.  In 2021, he has already secured victories over Drew Dober and Thiago Moises.  The booking with dos Anjos has been infuriating as the two have now been scheduled a total of three times since last October and both have been the one to fall out of the bout for various reasons.

UFC 267 is set to take place in Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.  The event will feature a championship double-header with light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz facing top contender Glover Teixeira and an interim bantamweight title bout between Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen.

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