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Dan Hooker Weighs-In on Crushing Knee That KO’d Ross Pearson

Kelsey Mowatt

UFC Auckland

UFC Fight Night 110 featured several memorable moments, and one of them was the vicious knee Dan Hooker planted on Ross Pearson, which floored the rugged vet.

The lightweights trade plenty of shots during the opening round and in round two, before Hooker sent Pearson’s mouthpiece flying, with a knee straight up the middle. Since Hooker made his way to the UFC back in 2014, his striking has drawn praise from many observers, and the New Zealand fighter has also spent time in Thailand honing his Muay Thai skills.

Despite all this, however, Hooker had this to say about the fight ending blow afterwards (quote via MMA Junkie):

“I just caught him with that knee,” Hooker said. “Lucky – nothing else.”

Obviously Hooker is being pretty humble here, as there was certainly more to it than just luck. The 27 year-old also had this to say about the bout, and his decision to exit the featherweight division

“I just felt strong; I felt fit. I felt like a completely different fighter. I felt like myself. That’s how I train. That’s how I compete in the gym, and when I’m not draining myself to get down to 145, it’s my natural weight into the fight. … I’m never going back to featherweight.”

It will be interesting to see what comes next for Hooker. With the win over Pearson, his UFC record now stands at 4-3. While that record doesn’t pop exactly, it’s worth noting that two of Hooker’s losses came against Yair Rodriguez and most recently Jason Knight, who are both ridiculously promising fighters.

Making your way into the top 15 at 155, however, is no walk in the park. Case in point, former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez is currently ranked #14….

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