clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dan Hooker on Tony Ferguson callout: ‘Now your honor is at stake’

Hooker hopes Ferguson responds to his recent challenge. 

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Dan Hooker is giving Tony Ferguson an ultimatum: accept or deny.

The ‘Hangman’ recently challenged ‘El Cucuy,’ telling the former UFC interim lightweight champion to ‘step up to the plate’ for a fight. Though he has yet to receive a response, Hooker continued campaigning for Ferguson, who he sees as the best option for his return lightweight given their respective positions in the division.

Both men are in need of wins following their recent appearances. Hooker suffered a first-round TKO loss to Arnold Allen at UFC London in March, which saw the Kiwi fall to 1-4 in his past five fights. Ferguson returned to the Octagon after a year away and was on the receiving end of a ‘Knockout of the Year’ contender, courtesy of a front kick to the chin by Michael Chandler at UFC 274 in May. Despite being on a career-worst four-fight losing streak, Ferguson has since expressed interest in fighting again, and Hooker told Submission Radio he should definitely be considered for his next outing.

“Picking fights is one of my better skills,” said Hooker. “But I think they’ve been looking for a fight for me for a while now. I’m just in training, I’m sick of training, I want to go into the fight camp, I want to fight, and it’s just that time.

“Tony Ferguson is the fight that they’re interested in and I think that fight makes a lot of sense,” continued Hooker. “We’re both in similar positions, my management wants that fight, I think the fans want that fight, and so how do you pick a fight? You tell someone you’re gonna smash their face in. If they agree, they agree. Those are fighting words. If you’re going to pick a fight, you got to use fighting words. Smash your face in; premium quality fighting words. Can’t be ignored. Now your honor is at stake. You ignore that, now your honor is at stake, my friend.”

Should he get a fight — and a win — against Ferguson, Hooker knows he can reinsert himself into contention. And though other opponents could get him there, the City Kickboxing product wants whoever poses the biggest challenge.

For Hooker, Ferguson fits that billing.

“That’s definitely a position you can be in when you start looking for ‘oh, I’m looking for a good stylistic match-up, or easy match-up’, but this is definitely not,” said Hooker. “I feel like he was looking great in the Chandler fight. I feel like we both have a lot of good fights left in us. It’s just that this is not a sport of fairytales. Like, I’ve seen that that’s one of the things that the fans say, that they don’t want either of us to lose, because then whoever loses this fight is in an even worse spot. But if you might be new to MMA, but this is not a sport of fairytales. That’s just not how our beautiful sport works. Only one can continue, only one can keep going forward.

“But that’s a big fight, Tony’s a big fight,” continued Hooker. “A win for either one of us puts the other one right back in the mix, right? And that’s where you want to be. I’m not here to make up the numbers, I’m not here just to pump out easy wins. I feel like Tony’s a big fight, that’s a big fight for both of us, a big opportunity. Let’s just get it done. I’m sick of waiting. Time for some fighting.”