Hooker roars back into UFC with first round KO

By Te Ao - Māori News

Despite his loss to Edson Barboza in December, Ngāti Maniapoto's Dan Hooker was hungrier than ever to get back into the octagon for his latest UFC matchup. He showed exactly how eager he was by knocking out opponent James Vick at UFC San Antonio.

Dan "The Hangman" Hooker knew what he was getting himself into. Though the odds were stacked against him, with his opponent taller and fighting out of his home state, Hooker came prepared for a fight. In fact, he won by a quick knockout only two minutes and thirty-three seconds into the first round, landing a left hook to floor James Vick and finishing the job with straights to get the victory. 

After his hand was raised in victory, The Hangman acknowledged his opponent and how thorough he had needed to prepare for the contest.

"Respect to James Vick. I know he's a hometown boy. I trained the hardest I ever did in my life for this fight because I know you don't mess with Texas so I came here prepared," says Hooker.

"Just do what my coaches say and it turns out the results. Thank you, San Antonio. I felt very welcome even though I'm the enemy in this territory. It's probably my favourite city in America so far so thank you very much."

But after all his thanks, Hooker wasn't finished.

"October 5th, my brother Israel Adesanya is fighting to unify the world title. I need to be on that card. I demand to be on that card," he says. "October 5th, any of you lightweights wanna man up and meet me here, let's go!"

His first fight in seven months, taking out a ranked lightweight fighter and demanding to fight all-comers come UFC 243, it's all in a day's work for Dan "The Hangman" Hooker.