Dan Hooker vs. Gilbert Burns added to UFC 226
  • Dan Hooker vs. Gilbert Burns added to UFC 226
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  • May 20
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  • By Katrina Mahoney

The “Hangman” has finally secured his next fight, though it won’t be against a ranked opponent as he’d hoped.

Lightweight Dan Hooker will next face Gilbert “Durinho” Burns at UFC 226 on July 8 (AU), he confirmed with stuff.co.nz .

Hooker last competed at UFC Atlantic City on April 21 where he knocked out veteran Jim Miller with a knee to the head three minutes into the first round.

Hooker spoke to Engage prior to that bout and said a ranked opponent next would be “the only logical step” if he took Miller out.

“It’s difficult. The rankings don’t mean anything, but they mean something,” Hooker said.

“You have to play to the rankings. Everyone wants to go up, but I don’t feel like the rankings are a true reflection of who the best fighters [are]. I think there’s a lot of guys just taking up space in the rankings, or they’re big names that don’t really have the skillsets.

“I feel like the true fans of the sport know that and they understand that, but if you wanna work yourself towards a title, then you’re gonna have to start looking at ranked opponents and getting matched against ranked guys.”

Turns out, those match ups are rather elusive. With lightweight bouts now scheduled between Alexander Hernandez (#13) and Olivier Aubin-Mercier (#15), Paul Felder (#14) and James Vick (#11), and Michael Chiesa (#9) and Anthony Pettis (#12), there weren’t many options left.

The gridlock means Hooker will now aim to extend his win streak with a victory over unranked Gilbert Burns. Since his move up to lightweight, Hooker has looked formidable with three consecutive highlight-reel finishes over Jim Miller, Marc Diakiese and Ross Pearson.

Burns is a three-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion with proven knockout power. Coming off two impressive victories of his own, the 31-year-old knocked out Dan Moret last month at UFC on Fox 29 and Jason Saggo in September last year.

UFC 226 will be held during international fight week on July 8 (AU) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The card will be headlined by light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in a superfight for the UFC heavyweight title.

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  • May 20
  • |
  • Katrina Mahoney

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