clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dan Hooker is ‘showing up for a payday,’ says Islam Makhachev’s manager

Ali Abdelaziz thinks a lucky punch is Dan Hooker’s only chance to win at UFC 267.

UFC 266: Dan Hooker vs Islam Makhachev MMA News Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Islam Makhachev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, says Dan Hooker is only looking to cash a check at UFC 267.

Hooker (No. 6) agreed to step in on short notice to fight Makhachev (No. 5) at UFC 267: “Blachowicz vs. Teixeira,” which will take place inside Etihad Arena at UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates later this month (Sat., Oct. 30, 2021). In a new interview, Abdelaziz argued that Hooker knows his only route to victory is a lucky punch.

LIVE! Watch UFC 279 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

BLOCKBUSTER WELTERWEIGHT SHOWDOWN! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., Sept. 10, 2022, with a must-watch updated Welterweight thriller that will see perennial fan favorite, Nate Diaz now battles former top-ranked Lightweight contender, Tony Ferguson, who will return to the 170-pound weight class for this last minute, upgraded assignment. Meanwhile, In UFC 279’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, we now get the undefeated No. 3-ranked contender, Khamzat Chimaev, opposite Kevin ‘Trailblazer’ Holland.

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“Much respect to Hooker, they can say whatever they want. He’s showing up for a payday, and I respect Hooker a lot. He’s a nice guy. I respect him as a fighter, too, but he can say whatever he wants, his coaches can say whatever they want, he’s getting paid to show up,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie. “The only way he can win is a lucky punch. Islam beats people every second of a fight. Islam is never vulnerable in a fight. People are going to say, ‘Oh, he’s boring, he’s this, he’s that.’ They said this about Khabib for a long time. Khabib is pound-for-pound the greatest fighter to ever live on this planet.”

Abdelaziz claimed that Makhachev, a ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight, could beat up former UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, and former UFC Middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold.

“It seems like people are more interested in this fight than Rafael dos Anjos fight, and Rafael is a former champion. I don’t know why, but listen, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who you’re gonna put in there. If I have to rank Islam today in the pound-for-pound list, I promise you he’s top five pound-for-pound,” he expressed. “I believe he will be one of the greatest UFC fighters we’ve ever seen. I’ve been training with Islam for seven years. I see him beating DC (Daniel Cormier) around, beating Luke (Rockhold), giving Khabib his toughest rounds.

“I believe he’s something special. I believe he’s destined to be a world champion, and people can say whatever they want about him. They know in their heart and soul that he’s the toughest fight they can ever get.”


Finished reading this story? The party doesn’t have to stop. Click here to get more of the latest UFC and MMA news.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania