Regardless of spending 25 minutes within the cage with Dustin Poirier and exchanging practically 400 strikes, Dan Hooker returned house to New Zealand with none critical accidents.

Whereas he did make a journey to the hospital afterwards, Hooker says exterior of the stitches wanted to shut a gash over his eye, he’s truly feeling nice just some days faraway from a battle that’s being touted as a possible “Struggle of the Yr.”

“I truly really feel actual good,” Hooker advised MMA Combating. “My physique’s not banged up in any respect surprisingly. I believe I took 100 strikes on every of my eyes however moreover my eyes, my head’s good, my physique’s good.”

“Simply stitches on my eyes. They did facial scans and nothing’s fractured, nothing damaged. It’s onerous to know on the time as a result of every little thing swells up. Because it’s come down I’m again to regular.”

That’s a miraculous analysis contemplating the type of punishment Hooker and Poirier each absorbed over 5 rounds.

In accordance with Hooker, he truly fell in love with the back-and-forth exchanges a lot that he practically deserted his sport plan to as an alternative commerce photographs with Poirier till one in every of them fell down.

“I can see precisely what [Justin] Gaethje was on about when he stated he was having an excessive amount of enjoyable in there with Dustin and obtained caught up within the enjoyable of it,” Hooker stated. “As a result of it certain was a rattling good time. I did get pleasure from that struggle.

“As grueling because it was and as onerous because it was, it’s fights like that why I do that. It’s fights like that why I like competing on this sport. I’m taking it for what it’s, good quaint fist struggle and it was enjoyable.”

Within the second spherical, Hooker caught Poirier with a knee strike that the previous interim light-weight champion later talked about as a shot that truly put his lights out momentarily. In some way, Poirier continued swinging punches by that change and by no means as soon as hit the canvas resulting from strikes.

Hooker can proudly proclaim the identical regardless of arising quick within the determination and even he marvels on the quantity of injury he and Poirier took with out one in every of them toppling over in some unspecified time in the future in the course of the struggle.

“I used to be going again and watching it and we had been simply cracking one another on the chin,” Hooker stated. “You recognize while you hit somebody in the best spots, like I used to be ripping to the physique and I landed punches proper on the chin and he was doing the identical factor. One in every of us would get carried away with too many punches and get clipped.

“I’m amazed there wasn’t even a knockdown in that struggle. That’s ridiculous. In case you add up the quantity of serious strikes that had been being thrown and being landed on one another. Nobody obtained a knockdown.”

In fact, Hooker would have a lot moderately returned house with a win on his document however he actually can’t complain an excessive amount of given the adoration being proven for his struggle this previous Saturday evening.

He could have come up quick in the long run however Hooker positively gained fairly a couple of followers following that type of efficiency.

“You get caught up within the brawl, caught up within the struggle of it. It’s what it’s,” Hooker stated. “I’ll study from it, I’ll make these enhancements. Hopefully getting the win subsequent time spherical.

“If I’m going to take a loss, that’s about nearly as good because it will get.”

After the occasion was completed, Hooker and Poirier had been each transported to an area medical facility for remedy. The lightweights ended up sitting just some toes away from one another whereas ready for a health care provider to examine them out.

Hooker says the dialog he shared with Poirier was nothing however respect, particularly after they shared the cage collectively in such a memorable struggle.

“There’s no confrontation while you spend 25 minutes throwing fists at one another,” Hooker stated about operating into Poirier on the hospital. “It’s onerous to nonetheless be upset with one another. We’re each in the identical boat, we understood what it was. To be trustworthy, we simply wished one another properly. He’s obtained a younger daughter, I’ve obtained a younger daughter. We’ve obtained loads in widespread. We’re each after the identical factor. There’s plenty of mutual respect there. Only a signal of mutual respect greater than battle.

“It was extra simply that we had respect for one another. We pat one another on the again for a fantastic struggle. It takes two to tango. You may’t placed on nice fights like that by your self. Only a little bit of appreciation for one another.”

With the struggle already being talked about as the most effective of the 12 months, Hooker understands the likelihood that he might ultimately see Poirier staring again throughout the cage from him once more.

He’s not calling out Poirier or demanding a rematch by any means however Hooker would love the possibility to share the octagon with him once more if given the chance.

“I’m a fighter at coronary heart,” Hooker defined. “Any loss that I’ve, simply as a fighter, you’d wish to get that again however in fact. I felt prefer it was a aggressive matchup. I wasn’t getting out classed or something like that. So I positively would like to get that one again.”



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