Ferguson vs Hooker At UFC 254? Coach Won’t Rule It Out…
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
After Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Dustin Poirier couldn’t come to terms on a financial deal, a much-desired fight between “The Diamond” and Tony Ferguson — which was targeted to go down at UFC 254 on Oct. 24, 2020 — went up in smoke.
Afterward, UFC President Dana White stated that he wouldn’t try to salvage the bout and would instead look for a replacement. Now, Dan Hooker has thrown his name in the hat to face “El Cucuy,” as his trainer Eugene Bareman says though not ideal, Hooker would step in.
“October is a bit early for us, otherwise we would jump in there straight away for sure. But if they can push it back,” Bareman said during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “Dan just got off concussion protocol now, so of this week. So, he’s only just started back training,” he added.
Of course, the whole point of having Poirier and Ferguson fight at UFC 254 — other than for our viewing pleasure — was to have two capable backups in line should something happen to event headliners Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
But since Hooker is just getting his groove again after a brutal five-round war against Poirier last June (see it again here), fighting in October may be a bit of a stretch. That being said, Bareman says if given the chance Hooker would more than likely take it.
“Obviously October might be a hard push. He would do it. I would have to talk him out of it, but he would probably do it one hundred percent. But Dan’s just back now, he’s getting fit again, it’s good to have him back in the gym. So, yeah, if they can’t come to terms, and it sounds like they haven’t come to terms, then we’ll jump in there and fight Tony for sure.”
Ferguson, meanwhile, is also on the hunt for a big win after losing to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249. And while a fight against Hooker many not have the exact same ring to it as one against Poirier would, Hooker brings the same energy and frantic pace that “The Diamond” would, so fight fans would still be in for a violent treat.
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