Although UFC featherweight Daniel Hooker is a transient individual who loves to travel and lets the sport of mixed martial arts take him like the wind, he is currently living in Thailand full time with his new wife and training as a member of one of the best fight teams in the world Tiger Muay Thai.

When the 26 year-old was a single man, he loved the lifestyle of training and fighting, but after recently getting married he is determined to get things moving forward in his career and financially succeed.

It was a good step in the right direction when he campaigned for the vacant main event slot at UFC Fight Night 97 opposite one of the deadliest monsters in the featherweight division, Ricardo Lamas, with another fight that was already in the works.

“I feel I’m ready to compete on that level and all I need is the opportunity to prove it. I knew the next fight was on the horizon, just thought it would have been nice to squeeze Manila in there as well” Hooker stated.

Even though he pushed hard for this match-up and was one of the guys at the top of the list, it never materialised and eventually the whole event was cancelled. As a result, a lot of fighters missed out on a pay check and his teammates were some of them which was a concern for him.

Speaking of his team, Hooker has so much admiration and respect for every single teammate and coach that is involved in his preparations. Said Salem, the head coach, is a super talented trainer with a great eye for detail that schedules all the workout sessions with himself, the wrestling/MMA coach George Hickman and the striking coach Brad “Quake” Riddell.

dan hooker

I AM ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE FINISH. THAT JUST COMES WITH MY STYLE, I’M NOT A POINT FIGHTER.

On top of that, he has sparring partners from all organisations and weight classes to get him ready for battle against any adversary.

“We are lucky at Tiger Muay Thai that there are constantly fighters here for fight camps but especially now that we have a few guys on the Melbourne card the atmosphere is great. Everyone is working together and pushing hard.”

“Having a deep fight team has allowed me to match up with guys similar to my opponent for sparring and drilling. My body doubles for this camp have been BAMMA fighter Adam Boussif and Bellator veteran JD Hardwick” he lamented about his teammates.

Since “Hangman” trains year round and really does not take time off, Hooker started getting ready for Jason Knight immediately after he signed the bout agreement. The only thing he did was make a few adjustments for his opponent.

Many fighters have different methods to their madness, however, Hooker is very confident that the approach he takes into the Octagon is befitting.

“My coach (Salem) studies film and based off that he has developed drills to capitalize on the flaws in his (Knight) striking. 80% is focused on myself and only 20% is concentrated on my opponent.”

Mentally, he looks at it as a fist fight plain and simple. He believes there is no need to get emotional about the situation. He does not consider himself an emotional person so it will not affect his performance on fight night.

He stands undefeated in all his appearances in the Octagon whenever it visits Australia or New Zealand and he plans to keep this streak going. Fighting in his backyard of sorts has given him the added pressure to perform to the point of devastating finishes over Ian Entwistle (TKO), Hatsu Hioki (TKO) and Mark Eddiva (Guillotine).

Hooker choking Mark Eddiva

Hooker choking Mark Eddiva

“I handle pressure well so having everyone there to support brings out the best in me.”

“I am always looking for the finish. That just comes with my style, I’m not a point fighter.”

The Kiwi is part of the new generation of combatants that can take the fight anywhere, at anytime and close the show in a variety of ways. With seven years under his belt, he will be hitting his prime as a fighter and that is going to be dangerous for any soul that attempts to step in the cage across from him.

Daniel Hooker will be looking to get his first back-to-back wins in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and start his ascension up the ranks in the stacked featherweight division when he faces Jason Knight on the preliminary portion of UFC Fight Night 101 in Melbourne, Australia this Sunday.