After winning a war at UFC 290, who is next for Dan Hooker?

MMA: UFC 290 - Turner vs Hooker
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night on the main card of UFC 290, we saw an absolute war in the lightweight division. Ranked contenders battled it out as Dan “The Hangman” Hooker (23-12) took on “The Tarantula” Jalin Turner (13-7). Originally, this fight was supposed to happen in March, but we finally got to see it on Saturday.

Let me tell you, if you didn’t see it, the fight was well worth the wait. Early on at UFC 290, Turner was enjoying an advantage on the feet. He was landing with incredibly fast straight shots that seemed to be accumlating some damage on Dan Hooker’s face.

However, if you know anything about Dan Hooker, you know he ain’t going away easily. In the second round, we were seeing more of the same and Hooker even got rocked by a head kick. However, in the second half of the round, the whole fight turned around.

A combination landed by Hooker and hurt Turner. Turner started to get tired as well and Hooker really poured it on. They ended on the ground with Hooker having a locked in rear naked choke. If it wasn’t for the bell, Hooker would’ve submitted him.

In the third round, Hooker once against started hurting Turner badly. If he kept it on the feet, he would’ve finished him in my opinion. However, he took things down to the ground where he spent the majority of the round on top securing the final round and a split decision win at UFC 290.

What’s next after UFC 290?

The first thing we all have to do is acknowledge what a savage Dan Hooker is. He never stopped throwing all his shots and never stopped coming forward despite breaking his arm and orbital bone earlier in the fight. A tremendous show of toughness from The Hangman who picked up his second straight win at 155.

Now, Hooker finds himself on a two-fight winning streak and ranked 10th in the UFC’s lightweight division. So, what’s next for Hooker? Well, the first thing is going to be recovery. With the broken arm as well as the orbital bone fracture, I’m not sure we will see Hooker again this year.

If we do, it’ll likely be in December at the final PPV of the year. There are a ton of great fights for Hooker at 155. I like the idea of him fighting former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos who is one spot ahead of him currently in the rankings.

Renato Moicano called him out and I like that fight as well. Moicano might need or want a fight between now and then, but if he wins, he would make sense for Hooker. Another name to watch out for is Matt Frevola. Frevola has won three in a row to enter the rankings. My guess is that he’ll fight again relatively soon. If he wins, the UFC could absolutely book him against Dan Hooker.