Thiago Moises wants Dan Hooker next after UFC Vegas 31 loss

dan hooker
Credit: Jeff Bottari/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

As he looks to rebound from his decisive loss to Islam Makhachev at UFC Vegas 31, Thiago Moises has one man in mind for his next fight. Dan Hooker.

Thiago Moises interested in a clash with Dan Hooker next

dan hooker
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Moises, 26, had a rough night against Khabib Nurmagomedov pupil Makhachev last week. Rarely did he put the Russian in difficult spots during their four-round bout, so it’s hard to take many positives from that night. However, as the Brazilian told Combate recently if he were to take something worthwhile away from the defeat, it’s that he got some valuable experience in facing a top-level opponent under a big spotlight.

“I think I could have done differently [in the fight]. Be more aggressive in striking, not afraid of takedowns, use my standup game and be more offensive in grappling. Try to get takedowns more, as I did in the second round, and try to control more on the ground. What is left to learn from this fight is the experience,” Moises told Combate [h/t BJPenn]. “What is most valuable is this experience of having done the main event. Fighting an opponent at the level of Islam. It will definitely make me grow a lot, be a better fighter and see that I can compete with the best in the division.”

Now, the American Top Team product must move on to the next steps in his Ultimate Fighting Championship journey. The fifteenth-ranked lightweight was asked who he feels is the right matchup for his next foray into the Octagon. Moises had only one name in mind, that being the man ranked seven spots ahead of him in New Zealand’s Dan Hooker.

“Now a fight that would make sense would be me against Dan Hooker. Since Dan Hooker said he wanted the winner of my fight with Makhachev, but he comes from two losses,” Moises said. “I think he and I make sense. He wanted to get this fight, but he’s coming off two losses and I don’t think it would make sense. He has a name, is well-positioned in the rankings; it’s a fight I would really like to do right now. I believe it’s a fighting style that favors me. Dan Hooker is a good striker, has a good reach, but I believe I would win by submission.

Hooker’s recent defeats came at the hands of top-five lightweights Michael Chandler, in January at UFC 257, and to Dustin Poirier in an epic fight in June of 2020. Before that, he had won seven of eight and was inching close to a lightweight title opportunity.

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