Dan Hooker ready to ‘take out’ Jason Knight at UFC Melbourne

Dan Hooker ready to ‘take out’ Jason Knight at UFC Melbourne

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Mar 20, 2015; Brisbane, Australia; Dan Hooker (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Mark Eddiva (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to string back to back wins for the first time since joining the UFC, Dan Hooker will take on Jason Knight at UFC Melbourne this Sunday. Hooker last competed back in March when he picked up a guillotine finish over Mark Eddiva at UFC Brisbane.

Fighting in Australia for the third time in his UFC career, Hooker has seen success fighting in the land down under. All 3 of his UFC wins have come in New Zealand and Australia as he will look to feed off the crowd’s energy once again in Melbourne.
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“Pressure is self inflicted,” Hooker said on any potential nerves. “You’re under as much pressure as you put on yourself but I love it. It makes me perform at my best. So I don’t fear pressure I embrace it.”

He recently made a full time move to Tiger Muay Thai from Elevation Fight Team as he continues to try and reinvent his game. A very tall featherweight, he has started to maximise his reach which is evident in both his striking and submission game. Training at a renowned gym like Tiger Muay Thai will definitely give him an opportunity to further sharpen his striking skills.

“This is my fifth trip to Tiger Muay Thai during my career, so it has always been a second home for me. The team there is amazing, world class coaches and training partners. I had two training partners from team Elevation fight team in Denver come out to Tiger for my camp so I still have ties with the boys there.”

Despite not fighting since March, he has been continuously training and campaigning to fight the likes of BJ Penn and Renan Barao. Now that he’s finally landed a fight, he’s confident that he’ll put on a show in front of the home fans.

“You know people always say ‘yea training camp with great’. I have no idea what they are doing because mine sucked haha, it was gut wrenching, it was a grind, but I have no doubt in my mind I paid the price for success.”

Knight, who started off his UFC campaign at 1-1 is also one of the taller fighters in the division and holds an impressive 14-2 MMA record. When asked about his match up with Knight, Hooker merely saw him as another opponent standing in his way.

“He’s a grappler, off his back is where he has won his fights. It’s simple, he’s the guy standing between me and what I have worked so hard for. It’s an old west showdown and town ain’t big enough for the both of us.”

“Body type is a big focus during training camp. He’s 6 foot tall, so it changes some things. I have been lucky to have a couple training partners in camp already that bring that same look to the table.”

Having finished all 3 of his UFC wins, Hooker is looking to do more of the same in the place that he has continuously found success over the course of his MMA career.

“Pick him apart on the feet; take him out with an accumulation of strikes.”

Focused and all business is the young Kiwi who will look to make a run in the talent stacked featherweight division.