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Dan Hooker has to remain in Abu Dhabi a month after UFC 257 due to COVID protocols

Dan Hooker won’t be able to return home to his family until early March.

UFC Fight Night: Poirier v Hooker Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

New Zealand is one of the very few countries that’s been able to properly deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. After having zero cases for nearly three and a half-months from May to August, the country merely has 31 active cases as of this posting. There hasn’t been a single death since September, keeping its total count to a low 25.

The upside, of course, is life back to the “old normal.” Here’s UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya ringing in the New Year amidst a large crowd. No masks, no social distancing.

The downside, however, is stricter quarantine restrictions. Lightweight contender Dan Hooker, for one, won’t be able to return home for a full month after his UFC 257 co-headliner against Michael Chandler.

MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin provided more details.

Hooker went through a similar predicament in June, right after his five-round barnburner against Dustin Poirier. He spent two weeks in quarantine upon getting back and only got to see his young daughter from a distance.

UFC 257 happens on January 23 at the Etihad Stadium in Abu Dhabi.