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New Zealander Dan Hooker Sheds Light On UFC Retirement Rumours

Max Sherry

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New Zealander Dan Hooker Sheds Light On UFC Retirement Rumours

After his fight with Michael Chandler at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi, us Aussie and Kiwi fans were gutted for Dan Hooker.

Not only had he just been knocked out in the very first round, but in the aftermath of the bout he sparked rumours of an early retirement by taking off his MMA gloves and leaving them in the octagon - normally a pretty good indication that a fighter is walking away from the sport for good.

But now that the dust has settled, fan favourite Hooker has come out and cleared things up a little.

And thankfully, he's not calling time on his career after all.

"You're always frustrated after a loss," he told Submission Radio.

"[It was] a balance of everything. Sheer frustration, you're disappointed, and in that moment I was like, 'I'm done. I'm finished with this s--y sport. I'm done.' Then you get back to the hotel and you think about it and you realise you're not good at anything else either, so it's like well, "I've kind of painted myself into a bit of a corner here.'

"People think you're gonna be rolling around in depression and not getting out of bed, but I know what it is. This is a sport I've been doing and following for my entire adult life. It's always a possibility. A loss like this, you're not rolling around in depression, super upset. It's self-explanatory. It is what it is. I can honestly say I'm not any more upset than when I lost the Poirier fight."

Despite emerging as one of lightweight division's top contenders, 30-year-old Hooker hasn't exactly been dealt a good hand outside of the octagon.

Due to New Zealand's strict coronavirus regulations, it was revealed in the build up to UFC 257 that he wouldn't ouch down in his hometown of Auckland until March.

In total, his lengthy quarantine in various foreign countries means it'll take him around six weeks to finally get home to his family.

This, combined with the devastating defeat, has seen Hooker remain relatively quiet in the days after the event.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"To be honest, I had nothing to say," he continued.

"Like a week went past and what can you say? What can you say? You have good days and bad days. You go into these kind of things and you prepare yourself for worst case scenarios, but even that took the cake. Even then it surprised me how bad it went (on the night). That was the very surprising thing. So I was like, what can you say? I had no words to describe it. You come to and then you're just like, I've just wasted four months of my life for that."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: New Zealand, UFC News, MMA News, Michael Chandler, Dan Hooker, UFC, Australia, MMA

Max Sherry
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