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'Stay strong, Dan' - Dustin Poirier shows solidarity with Dan Hooker in quarantine plight

UFC Fight Night: Poirier v Hooker
UFC Fight Night: Poirier v Hooker
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 24 Feb 2021
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Dustin Poirier has sent a positive message to Dan Hooker, who is undergoing a strict quarantine process. The Kiwi fighter has been away from his family for almost two months due to New Zealand's COVID-19 protocols.

Dan Hooker traveled to Abu Dhabi to fight Michael Chandler at UFC 257 in January. Agreeing to the bout, "The Hangman" had to accept his home country's stringent quarantining process, in which people are required to book a trip back days in advance of departure.

For Dan Hooker, that date was February 21, almost a month after he clashed with Chandler. After landing in New Zealand, the fighter will have to endure two weeks of self-isolation with constant COVID-19 tests to confirm he did not bring the virus back to the country.

"In Abu Dhabi for a month after UFC 257, what's good to do? Where to train?" Dan Hooker wrote ahead of his fight.

"The Hangman" is spending the confinement period in a hotel paid for by the government. He occasionally receives visits from his wife and two daughters - but always from a safe distance, behind glass and fences.

MMA fighters and journalists have shown sympathy to Dan Hooker's struggle, including one of his direct rivals in the lightweight division, Dustin Poirier.

"Stay strong, Dan," wrote Poirier.

New Zealand is often referred to as the role-model country in the fight against the pandemic. The actions taken by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the Oceanian island a "COVID-free" nation - with less than 2,500 confirmed cases since the beginning of testing in 2020.

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Dan Hooker was pleased to oblige to restrictions

UFC 257 Poirier v McGregor: Weigh-Ins
UFC 257 Poirier v McGregor: Weigh-Ins

Speaking to MMA Fighting ahead of his fight with Michael Chandler at UFC 257 last January, Dan Hooker explained how the quarantining process in New Zealand is respected and supported by the majority of its citizens.

"They have really ramped it up in New Zealand. We are lucky that we are able to do such a great job, and we have got to stick with it now. We are completely normal," Dan Hooker said.
"That's why we are so lucky. We take the border very seriously. We are COVID free. Everyone was just partying at festivals. We had like 10, 20, 30,000 people festivals all over the country for New Year's. Life is normal back in New Zealand," he concluded.
Published 24 Feb 2021, 02:37 IST
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