Dan Hooker eyeing Beneil Dariush clash at UFC 303, with "chinless sc*mbag" Renato Moicano as preferred backup opponent

Renato Moicano (left) and Beneil Dariush (right) are seemingly in the crosshairs of Dan Hooker (middle) [Images courtesy: @renato_moicano_ufc, @beneildariush, and @danhangman on Instagram]
Renato Moicano (left) and Beneil Dariush (right) are seemingly in the crosshairs of Dan Hooker (middle) [Images courtesy: @renato_moicano_ufc, @beneildariush, and @danhangman on Instagram]

Dan Hooker has asserted that he'd like to fight Beneil Dariush at UFC 303. 'The Hangman' suggested that, if not America's Dariush, he could face Brazil's Renato Moicano.

Hooker and Moicano have long been at odds. In February 2024, the latter tweeted that he'd like to fight the New Zealand MMA stalwart during the UFC's International Fight Week in June.

Leading up to the Moicano-Jalin Turner fight at UFC 300 (April 13, 2024), Hooker appeared on Israel Adesanya's YouTube channel and predicted that Turner would win. 'The Hangman' noted that he'd like Moicano to win so they could fight each other.

On the Show me the Money podcast, Moicano fired back by implying that Hooker was an "easy money" fight. In his latest interview with The AllStar's Hyon Ko, 'The Hangman' has now addressed the same. The 34-year-old pointed out that his first preference would be facing Beneil Dariush, ideally on the UFC 303 (June 29, 2024) card that'll witness Conor McGregor's return.

Besides, responding to Dariush's recent claim that he could fight Hooker or Moicano next, 'The Hangman' stated:

"June, on that card, and if Beneil wants it, oh, I would love to."

Hooker opined that if timeline isn't feasible for Dariush, he'd fight Moicano instead. Jibing at the Dariush over his easy money remarks, he said:

"For International Fight Week, I will punch Beneil Dariush's head clean off his shoulders. There's no doubt about it. Yeah, that would obviously be my top pick. But he's just been very quiet about shooting his shot. You know what I mean? I'm not sure if that's a date that he's willing to commit to. He commits to that.
"Hey, if I get a contract through, I won't. I'll be signing that in about two seconds. But obviously, Moicano's there as well. Beneil doesn't want it, Moicano here, calling me easy money. Brother, you're the easiest money I've ever seen in my life, you chinless sc*mbag. I'll come for him in a heartbeat."

Check out Dan Hooker's comments below (0:20):

Watch the interview below:

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A closer look at Dan Hooker and his potential next opponents

Presently, the UFC hasn't officially announced Dan Hooker, Beneil Dariush, and Renato Moicano's respective next opponents and comeback dates. That said, it appears as though Hooker has his mind made up about wanting to return at UFC 303 this summer.

From a rankings perspective, Dariush currently holds an edge over them, as he boasts the No. 6 position in the UFC lightweight rankings. Meanwhile, Moicano stands at No. 10 and Hooker holds the No. 11 spot.

Dariush is on a two-fight losing streak and most recently lost via first-round KO against Arman Tsarukyan in December 2023. As for Moicano, he's on a three-fight win streak and is fresh off a second-round TKO victory against Jalin Turner at UFC 300.

Dan Hooker is on a two-fight win streak. He most recently bagged a hard-fought split decision win against Jalin Turner in July 2023.

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