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Dan Hooker ‘would love to throw down’ with Korean Zombie if he returns to 145

“Head and shoulders, the No. 1 guy that I would love to get in there with would be The Korean Zombie”.

UFC 267: Makhachev v Hooker
Dan Hooker makes his walk to the cage prior to his lightweight fight against Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Dan Hooker has already had a successful test cut to featherweight and, if ‘The Hangman’ does return to 145-pounds, he ‘would love to throw down’ with Chan Sung Jung aka ‘The Korean Zombie’.

“Head and shoulders, the No. 1 guy that I would love to get in there with would be The Korean Zombie,” Hooker told Ariel Helwani during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (h/t Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting). “I would love throw down with ‘The Zombie.’ So I don’t know what the people were saying, that’s why I just put it out there, stepped on the scale, made the weight, and I feel like you just let the people decide. Whoever the people want to see me in there against will kind of convince the UFC. What everyone wants, everyone can get, but for me it would be head and shoulders The Korean Zombie.”

Hooker is looking to rebound from a crushing first-round submission defeat to Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 and believes he would have ‘a number of advantages’ at featherweight that he simply wasn’t able to capitalize on at lightweight.

“For one, it’s just an advantage that I haven’t been capitalizing on if I’m being honest,” Hooker said. “There’s a number of advantages that I haven’t been capitalizing on, but that’s just one of them. So it’s kind of moving forward and learning from the past. You have to make adjustments for the future and that’s just one of them. Getting back, working with my team, that travel opening up to the world. I’m excited for the future. I feel like featherweight is the weight class that I can really thrive at and it’s a weight class where I can really capitalize on all of my advantages.

“On the same turn I get to get back to New Zealand and in the future I’ll be training and going into fights with a full camp,” he added. “Traveling with my full coaching staff and then competing at a weight class that I feel pretty content with and pretty comfortable with. So I’m definitely excited for the future.”

Hooker is currently #8 in the UFC lightweight rankings while Jung is ranked No. 4 at featherweight. The latter most recently fought at UFC on ESPN 25 where he defeated Dan Ige via unanimous decision and was promoted to the rank of black belt in BJJ.