Dan Hooker credits Islam Makhachev for taking Alexander Volkanovski fight at UFC 284 in Australia

MMA news

Dan Hooker is praising UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev for facing Alexander Volkanovski in enemy territory.

Lightweight champion Makhachev (23-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) will make his first title defense against featherweight champion Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) in the UFC 284 headliner Feb. 11 at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.

Immediately after submitting Charles Oliveira to claim the vacant lightweight title at UFC 280, Makhachev called Volkanovski into the octagon for a faceoff to set up his next fight.

“It’s a difficult fight for Makhachev, and it’s a credit to him,” Hooker said in an interview on Israel Adesanya’s YouTube channel. “I think the biggest hesitation with him being a champion was that he would not be as active as a lot of other champions.

“But for him to get on the microphone straight after their fight and call for another fight in his own territory, but be willing to fly a very long distance, they don’t usually take those kind of risks. They’re kind of U.S., or close to home. .. I tip my hat to Makhachev, because he’s in for one hell of a fight. Volk’s a very difficult man to hold down and even harder to keep there. Yeah, he’s in for a tough night.”

Hooker (22-12 MMA, 12-8 UFC), who was submitted by Makhachev at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi, snapped his losing skid with a TKO win over Claudio Puelles at UFC 281. He’s hoping to land on the same UFC 284 card as his teammate Volkanovski.

“I wanted to prove that my skill level is a step ahead of ranked and unranked, like I definitely belong there,” Hooker said. “And I feel like for Perth, it should be a ranked opponent.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 284.

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