Dan Hooker makes Khabib claim ahead of Islam Makhachev clash

Shamanth Jayaram October 5, 2021
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Dan Hooker is set to face Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 and the New Zealander has claimed that beating the latter would be the closest thing to getting a win over Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Khabib is undoubtedly one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the sport. He has been retired for a while now, but almost every fight fan knows that he is still head and shoulders above everyone in the division.

The Eagle has put on his coaching shoes now and Makhachev is his number one student. Khabib 2.0 is set to face Hooker at UFC 267 later this month and the New Zealander believes that beating him would be similar to beating Nurmagomedov.

Dan Hooker: Islam Makhachev is like Khabib Nurmagomedov

The Hangman told MMA Fighting: “If I could fight any lightweight on the face of the planet, it would be Khabib. I want to see how I measure up with him. It’s no lie that Islam’s the next best thing.

“Beating Islam is the only opportunity you’re going to get to show what would have happened if you got in there with Khabib when he was champion. There’s a lot of exciting aspects about this fight. I feel like it’s a perfect time for this fight to come together. Everyone’s putting him on a pedestal.

“Every guy is showing a lot of respect for his abilities and making a lot of comparisons with Khabib. It will be a great opportunity. I feel like this is a massive fight. A win here puts you in title contention. That’s another thing that’s obviously exciting.”

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

When is UFC 267?

UFC 267 is scheduled to take place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on the 30th of this month. Dana White’s fighters return to the UAE for the first time since UFC 257: Poirier vs McGregor 2.

The fight card for the event at the end of this month is an incredible one. Jan Błachowicz takes on Glover Teixeira in the main event, while Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen go head to head for the interim belt.

Alexander Volkov faces Marcin Tybura, while Khamzat Chimaev returns as well to take on Li Jingliang. Hooker vs Makhachev, however, has the potential to be the best fight of the night.

Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images
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Shamanth works as a senior editor at GRV Media. Based in Bangalore, India, he's a massive Arsenal fan who also enjoys a bit of UFC every now and then.