Hooker releases statement following Fight of the Year loss to Poirier

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On Saturday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Dan Hooker and Dustin Poirier went to absolute war, battering each other for five full rounds in the main event of UFC on ESPN 12 (watch the highlights here). While Hooker outstruck Poirier statistically in the first two rounds and managed to hurt “Diamond” several times across the fight, he dropped a unanimous decision to the Lafayette native with 48-47, 48-47, 48-46 scores.

“It was a tough one, man,” Poirier admitted afterwards during his post fight interview. “Dan came to fight, he’s a tough guy, he’s on the rise. He really thought he was gonna get past me. Talked a lot of trash like he was gonna move forward and fight the champ. But I’m the f**king champ, man.”

Both men missed the post-event press conference in order to get stitched up, but Hooker jumped onto Instagram afterward to give us an update on how he was feeling following what must have been a bittersweet defeat. There’s no shame at all being part of such an amazing fight and coming so close to winning against a tough opponent like Poirier. Still, a win would have changed his career and set him up for a number of big money fights and put him within striking range of the lightweight title.

“Hey everyone, just back at the hotel with the lads having a feed,” Hooker said. “Got checked out of the hospital, everything’s all good. Just a couple of stitches on the eye. Hey, that’s the game we play, no worries. It’s just a small setback and I’ll be back!”

“Credit to Poirier better man on the night, no regrets, no excuses,” he added in the video caption. “Minor setbacks ain’t a major for me.”

The loss to Poirier drops Hooker to 20-9 and snaps a three fight win streak that saw him take victories over James Vick, Al Iaquinta, and Paul Felder. While defeat certainly isn’t going to move him closer to his goal of becoming UFC lightweight champion, the impressive showing against an absolute beast like Poirier undoubtedly raised his stock in the eyes of many fans watching the fight.

And of course, the $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus doesn’t hurt. It does raise the question though: what kind of bonus does he deserve for Fight of the Year and when can he collect? Because we’re halfway through the year and I’d say we have a new frontrunner in that regard.



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