Dan Hooker shuts down callout from Islam Makhachev, who isn't buying any excuse

Dan Hooker would love to headline a show in his home country of New Zealand but not against someone like Islam Makhachev.

Hooker dismissed Makhachev’s callout on Twitter, posting a clip from his “Head, Heart and Balls” podcast appearance, where he talked about wanting to headline a show vs. fighters like Donald Cerrone, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.

No disrespect intended towards Makhachev, but Hooker just doesn’t think the event would sell if he fought him.

“One kid, he called me up, Islam Makhachev, Khabib’s training partner. He says he’ll take the fight,” Hooker said. “Mate, I said you know if I fight Gaethje, if I fight Poirier, if I fight ‘Cowboy’ in a main event in Auckland, (it would be a) sellout. It’s going to be exciting. No matter what happens, we’re going to go out there and put on a show. Bruv, I’ll be standing outside of Pak ‘N Save trying to give tickets away (against Makhachev). Are you serious?”

In all serious, I want my first hometown main event to be a sellout. Makachev doesn’t put bums on seats. We can run it in your hometown after no problem. #nobullshitjustfacts

It didn’t take long for Makhachev, who’s been itching to fight a top-ranked guy in the division, to respond. He took a shot at Hooker.

So you wanna sell out your hometown arena with someone’s else name???? LOL Find some better excuse kid.

Following Hooker’s dominant win over Al Iaquinta this past Saturday at UFC 243, Makhachev wasted no time calling out Hooker. Makhachev, who extended his winning streak to six with a unanimous decision win over Davi Ramos at UFC 242, is one of the most highly touted prospects in the division. He possess a similar grappling style as his training partner, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who has dubbed him as a future champ.

But for now, it appears Makhachev will have to target another lightweight contender since Hooker doesn’t seem too interested.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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