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Dan Hooker: Islam Makhachev is no Khabib, ‘he’s been knocked out’

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Dan Hooker doesn’t think Islam Makhachev is in the same league as Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Top ten UFC lightweight Dan Hooker isn’t buying the hype surrounding Islam Makhachev.

Makhachev, 29, is being hailed by some pundits as ‘Khabib 2.0’ as the Dagestani continues to impress in the UFC with his unorthodox chain wrestling and sambo which the No. 9-ranked lightweight used to devastating success against Thiago Moises at UFC Vegas 31 this past Saturday.

Makhachev submitted Moises in the fourth round to extend his win streak to eight fights but Hooker, who kept a close eye on the matchup, thinks the Russian is overhyped.

‘The Hangman’ was keen to point out that Makhachev has been knocked out before, unlike his teammate Khabib who retired undefeated at 29-0.

“You see scrolling past and seeing on like build-up videos of him saying everyone’s scared, everyone’s scared to fight him, oh, the whole division’s shook,” Hooker said of Makhachev in a recent interview with Submission Radio (h/t Low Kick MMA). “Bro, you’re just copying your mate’s homework. Give your mate’s homework back and come up with something for yourself, son.

“He’s on a good streak at the moment, but I believe he’s been knocked out in the UFC before. So then him copying Khabib’s homework and saying all this wild stuff when you’ve been laid flat in the octagon, it doesn’t really have the same ring to it as an undefeated fighter.”

Makhachev snubbed Hooker when asked about a possible fight against the New Zealander during the UFC Vegas post-fight press conference, but Hooker wasn’t fazed by his comments in the slightest.

“Oh, it’s just funny. Like, I don’t really care. I don’t really take it too seriously,” Hooker said of Makhachev’s comments. “Like, it’s just a bunch of banter to me. But if you dish it out, you better be able to take it. So, his reason [for not fighting me is] that I’m like three losses in my last six fights. And then in the same breath he calls out Tony Ferguson who’s lost three in a row. So, that makes about as much sense as shitting in a swimming pool. So, I don’t know what he’s on about.”

Hooker is on a two-fight losing skid and is eager to get back in the octagon ASAP. The City Kickboxing product last fought at UFC 257 where he was knocked out by former three-time Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler in the first round.