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Dan Hooker has U.S. visa approved, will remain on UFC 266

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Good news: The ‘Hangman’ will fight on Saturday. 

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Dan Hooker during weigh-ins for UFC 257.
Dan Hooker during weigh-ins for UFC 257.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Dan Hooker has obtained his U.S. visa days before his fight against Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266.

The fight between Hooker and Haqparast was in jeopardy of being canceled as the ‘Hangman’ revealed his visa may not get approved in time because of the COVID-19 lockdown measures in New Zealand. He reached out to Kevin Covert, the charge d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy, and was eventually granted a meeting at the embassy on Monday. The meeting went well, and Hooker received his visa.

“Momma we made it,” said Hooker in a video that confirmed the good news.

Hooker now has to travel to Las Vegas, which will be an arduous journey. The City Kickboxing star has already explained that flights from New Zealand to the United States happen only on Sundays and Thursdays. His visa was just approved on Monday, so that means he has to fly out on Thursday and arrive to the States in the late evening. Hooker has a few hours to cut weight and show up at the early morning weigh-ins set for Friday. And then he fights Haqparast a day later on Saturday.

It is not the most ideal circumstance, but one that Hooker is prepared to deal with before fight night. He spoke to Submission Radio about whether he is worried about the next fight ahead of him following the visa ordeal: cutting weight with less time than he usually has.

“No trouble,” said a confident Hooker. “No trouble. Got the fight dietician on it. He tells me what to eat, what to drink and then step on a scale on weight no worries.

“I have time. Like I have time,” continued Hooker. “Its what, 9 p.m. till 9 a.m.? I have 12 hours. I’m not worried about that. That’s not really a concern of mine now.”

Hooker looks to return to the win column on Saturday night as he enters the fight with Haqparast on a two-fight losing streak. He suffered a decision loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC on ESPN 12 last year and was knocked out by Michael Chandler at UFC 257.