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Dan Hooker Talks Getting Visa, Fans Helping Him Out

UFC contender Dan Hooker credits the fight fans on social media for helping him get his visa for Saturday's UFC 266 card.

Dan Hooker offered up his praise to UFC fight fans.

Hooker was able to obtain his visa and will fight this Saturday at UFC 22 against Nasrat Haqparast.

But as he told Submission Radio, it wasn’t the UFC helping him. It was social media and the thousands of fight fans around the world.

That’s it. All I’ve been through up until that point… like, when I first signed this fight, I signed it Sunday, and then the Tuesday we went into like a nationwide lockdown. And so just living at the gym, getting kicked out of there by the cops, getting chased around, trying to make all my training work. And I did all of that. I didn’t cut any corners, I went out of my way to get prepared for this fight,” Hooker said. “And then the last second on Friday, them getting back to me three weeks after I submitted my visa application, and for them to get back to me and say, nah, like, it’s not gonna go ahead. I was just like, I’m not a man to die quietly. You really picked the wrong guy. So, I got on social media and I was just like, let’s make some noise. I’ve done everything in my power I possibly can, I need your guys’ back up. I need MMA Twitter. I need everyone’s support to get behind me. And they did. People just absolutely bombarded the New Zealand US consulate.” 

“There was absolutely no acknowledgment that that was the reason why, but people were sending me screenshots of like, they were just going through the full thing. People submitted full applications with the name being ‘give Dan Hooker his visa’. So, without a shadow of a doubt, one hundred percent, everyone getting on their case got it. Because after I started hammering them, I got it. 

“It was on the six o’clock news here in NZ. Then I get an email out of blue saying, yeah, he’s got an appointment Monday. So, yeah, one hundred percent everyone absolutely hounding them and bombarding them forced them to make it happen. And they did. Which is… man, that’s pretty mind blowing. I’m sure after the fight I’ll take some time to go back and reflect on that. I think it’s a little bit too soon to let my mind kind of go into reflective mode at the moment, but I’m so appreciative that they could get it done. So, to repay that, I can’t wait to get on that plane and give everyone a show.” 

“The old guy was Scott Brown. And this is for the Poirier fight, I was in the exact same situation, where we went into like a full lockdown in New Zealand. Which means even the embassy is shut. So, the embassy is not doing appointments at the moment. So, Even the embassy is closed. I was in the same position three, four weeks out from the Poirier fight and I didn’t have a Visa as well. But because Trump was in, and Trump’s guy Scott Brown was here in New Zealand, someone called someone who called someone, he called me. Like, the ambassador.

“I got a call and I answered it, hello, Dan Hooker. ‘Oh, it’s the US ambassador. And I was just like, wow, what are you giving me a call for? And he was like, I heard you need a Visa. Come in tomorrow. I went in that day, the Visa arrived at my house the next day. So, I know how much power that guy has. I know that can get done very quickly if you know the right people. But obviously, since Trump’s not there, Scott’s not the ambassador anymore. And so, they didn’t have a guy here in New Zealand. They didn’t have a contact. So, we were going through it just like anybody else would go through it. And it was just the people’s support. So, the UFC was powerless as well to oil the wheels as they usually would. It was the people 100 percent.” 

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