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Dan Hooker predicts the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje; prepared to fight winner

UFC Fight Night Media Session
UFC Fight Night Media Session
Anurag Mitra
ANALYST
Modified 23 Jun 2020, 20:19 IST
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Dan Hooker will face the biggest challenge of his professional career when he squares off against Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC on ESPN 12 at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

A win against former contender Poirier will propel Dan Hooker above the likes of Paul Felder and Al Iaquinta in the race for the top contender spot. In fact, a win against Poirier would virtually guarantee a title shot for Hooker up next with Conor McGregor currently out of the picture and Tony Ferguson just suffering a bitter loss to interim champ Justin Gaethje at UFC 249.

If Dan Hooker does win, who will he face for the title? Justin Gaethje or Khabib Nurmagomedov? Only time will tell. If you look at the betting odds, Khabib begins as clear favorite thanks to his recent performances and undefeated status in professional MMA. However, if you ask Dan Hooker, he believes that there is a shocker on the cards. Speaking to MMA Fighting recently, Hooker said that Gaethje's skillset is bound to pose a serious threat to the Dagestani champion inside the Octagon. Hooker said Justin Gaethje is going to be the toughest test of Khabib's career.

“I’m definitely interested. Gaethje, if you’re describing a skill set that would give Khabib trouble, it is Gaethje’s skill set. An incredibly strong defensive wrestler who’s very handy on his feet and can dish out a lot of damage. Great cardio being five rounds. Very comfortable being in a main event spot. He has the game you would put together to definitely give Khabib his toughest test. I’m leaning more towards Gaethje in that fight.”

If Dan Hooker's prediction comes true and Gaethje ends Nurmagomedov's undefeated streak, and if the New Zealand native manages to get past Poirier at UFC on ESPN 12, then he could very well lock horns with Gaethje with the UFC lightweight title on the line. Dan Hooker says he will stay sharp and prepared for a title shot down the line and is looking to put up a show against Poirier this Saturday.

“That sounds like a perfect way to cap off the year. I’ll stay ready, I’ll stay sharp, but I’m looking for that next title shot. I feel like this win, especially a knockout win, really solidifies my spot as the next No. 1 contender.”
Published 23 Jun 2020, 20:19 IST
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