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Dan Hooker Talks Conor McGregor-Dustin Poirier, Future

Dan Hooker was a guest on “Submission Radio” recently to discuss the social media battle between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier along with his own future.

On Rafael Dos Anjos making sense next

Anyone ranked above me would be a good fight for me. But yeah, fights that make sense. I like the RDA fight. Like, former champ, I respect his skillset, I respect the way he carries himself, and I feel like that’s a fight that makes a little more sense if he can’t get one of the bigger fights that he’s chasing, to kind of take him up on his offer.”

On Dustin accusing Conor McGregor of welching on his donation, and Conor threatening to withdraw from the fight

I can definitely see both sides of it. In terms of Conor, you look at Conor, he is still in that position to call the shots. Like, you can say whatever you want to say, ‘oh, Dustin knocked him out, so he’s now the bigger star’. That’s not how it works with Conor McGregor. Like, he’s still a massive star. If he pulls out of that fight and Dustin has to fight someone else, Dustin’s looking at a big chunk of change coming out of his pocket. Conor gets to pick the fights. Conor gets to call his shots becuse he’s the draw, he’s the guy that draws the names. A lot of guys make the mistake of – I know from the inside, that Conor only wants to fight guys… he changes your life when he fights you. You get a couple of million of dollars in your bank account. For fighters like us, that changes your lives. So, you need to understand, why would he do that? Why would he change the life of a guy he hates? Or a guy that says some stupid shit about him? Like, I know old Justin Gaethje was this close, this close to getting that fight across the line. Like, this close to getting it signed. And then he said something. He said something about Conor being a bad husband. Conor pulls out and then turns around and fights Dustin. It makes complete sense to me. Why would he change Justin Gaethje’s life? Why would he make Justin Gaethje a multimillionaire if he’s saying that he’s a bad husband or he’s saying he’s a bad father or he’s discrediting him as a man? Like, as a man, being a good husband, being a good father are two things that you take very, very seriously. So yeah, if someone calls that into question, why would he change your life? But there’s plenty of other names for him to fight in the division. When a guy’s fighting for the lightweight title, Michael Chandler’s fighting Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title, and he [Dustin] offers to fight Conor instead of that. That shows you the power of that guy. That shows you then and there that you get more money still to this day for fighting Conor McGregor, than for fighting for the title and being the champion. That shows you that he’s still the kingmaker and still holds the power in this kind of situation.”

“It’s more of him just showing the power that he does have. Even though the contract is signed, even though everything’s set, he can still say, ‘I’m just not gonna show up, and you go back to your’ – he said, you go back to your original contract, you go back to your original money. Which would be a fraction of the money that he’s getting to fight Conor.”

On being open to being the person to fight Conor and fill in for Dustin if it wouldn’t make sense

“Like, in a complete practical sense, obviously, obviously I would take that fight. But for my interests. But it’s a silly fight for him, it’s a silly fight for him. That’s a dangerous fight. You’ve had a guy in the title fight calling him out for a fight, you’ve had guys on win-streaks calling him out for a fight, guys ranked ahead of me asked to fight him and called him out for a fight. I just don’t feel like right now I’m in a position for that fight to make sense. And if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense. And that fight for him, from a financial perspective, doesn’t make the kind of sense it needs to. I’m not worried at all. I’m not worried. I’m not holding onto that fight and I’m not holding on like, oh man, I need to do it right now. I’m not desperate. I’m confident in my ability, I’m confident in my skillset, I’m confident that I’m gonna get back on a win-streak. I’m confident that I’m gonna win these next few fights and then be in a position to either fight for a title or fight whoever’s the next superstar or the next big name in the division. But for now, I just don’t feel like that fight makes a lot of sense.”

If having bad blood with Dustin gives Conor any mental advantage or causes him to fight differently to last time

“Yeah, it’s funny how he’s kind of more shied away from that aspect. He does seem to do better under that kind of state when he’s chasing conflict and getting under his opponent’s skin and riling them up. He did seem to do well. So, it is interesting that Dustin starts some kind of drama, but he doesn’t go with it, he doesn’t wanna create that kind of animosity. I feel like he does better in that kind of position, in that mental frame, when he can rattle and get under his skin. I could see Dustin out back before the press conference and things like that, he was just as interested as the rest of us as to what Conor was gonna say or whether Conor was gonna go on the offensive or whether Conor was gonna get under his skin. And I feel like he was pretty relieved when Conor didn’t kind of start rattling his cage. So, I feel like it would do Conor, I feel like he performs better when he can rattle his opponent’s cage, because it is a huge asset to him.”

On slightly leaning towards Michael Chandler in the Charles Oliveira title fight

“I kind of feel like that’s a good stylistic match-up for Chandler. Like, he’s a strong offensive wrestler, and he does have good Jiu Jitsu. Like, early on in his career most, of his finishes were submissions. So, for a wrestler, he has pretty sound and pretty strong Jiu Jitsu. Like, heavy puncher, low stance, low to the ground. So, it is like stylistically leaning towards Michael in a difficult match-up. But stylistically I was a terrible match-up for him, and I got knocked down in the first round. So, it’s hard to (laughs), you can’t really take that to the bank.”

On looking to return around June or July if it syncs up with his teammates at CKB also being booked

“For me, I’m ready to go in June. July would be outstanding to get a fight on. Yeah, it’s just down to the big fella [Eugene Bareman]. When he points me in the right direction and tells me to shoot, I’ll swing em and let em go. So, that’s all we’re waiting for. July? Perfect. Perfect. And it comes down to whoever’s ready to go on that date.”

“I’m not holding on to any names in particular. Whether they’re ranked higher than me, whether they’re ranked lower than me. I know from a practical aspect, I’m coming off two losses. So, I’m not in a position to go calling my shots anymore. I need to get back on a win streak until I’m in a position like that again. For me, it comes down to a timinig thing. It’s when my team’s ready to go, when my coaches are free to go, and whether Israel fights or Volk fights. I know Brad’s looking for a quick turnaround. When we can get a crew of us to head over and move as a unit, move as a team. I feel like that’s an important thing. I really learned the lessons I need to learn outside of the cage from those last two results. And to rush back in there and go off by myself and do these crazy things again, would be a huge mistake.”

 

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