UFC Atlantic City’s Dan Hooker: “I Don’t Think I’m That Good But I Will Beat Anyone In The World”

Dan Hooker has become a destroyer ever since moving up to lightweight.

After a rollercoaster campaign at featherweight, “The Hangman” decided to jump up a weight class and took on gritty veteran Ross Pearson at UFC Auckland last summer. The result was a picture-perfect knee to the jaw that flatlined the Brit instantly.

Riding high on the momentum of his recent knockout of the year candidate, Hooker took on rising African prospect Marc Diakiese six months later at UFC 219 in Las Vegas. The standout Kiwi handed his cocky opponent the first submission loss of his career.

With two spectacular performances over dangerous foes, Hooker elevated himself to contender status instantly.

His next challenge is Jim Miller, a familiar and respected name in the lightweight division, at UFC Atlantic City. Even though the New Jersey native is on a three-fight skid, Hooker does not take the veteran lightly and expects the best.

“He is definitely like the standard. If I beat Jim Miller…if I manage to get past Jim Miller impressively, then I’m guaranteed a top 15 opponent. That would be hard to deny because he is the standard.”

Dan Hooker spoke with John Hyon Ko about surrounding himself with like-minded people at City Kickboxing, the reasons for opening his gym Combat Academy, his preparations for Jim Miller, the comedic aspect of promoting the sport, taking every opponent seriously, the chaos of UFC 223 and more.

Dan Hooker will face Jim Miller in a lightweight bout at UFC Atlantic City on April 2.

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