Who Fights Green as Hooker Suffers Injury?

November 24, 2023
3 months

Dan Hooker has confirmed that he’s injured and unable to participate in the co-main event bout at the upcoming Fight Night. The Kiwi fighter was expected to square off against Bobby Green at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. Will the UFC find a replacement, and where will this leave Hooker? 

Hooker Targets UFC 300 Return

Speaking to Submission Radio, Dan Hooker has already stated that this injury will keep him out for around five months. In theory that will put him with the intention to be on the UFC 300 card which should be in March 2024 or later. The problem is that the upper management at the UFC might not be overly keen on having Hooker appear at the showpiece event, given he will have been out of action for at least nine months – if his recovery all goes to plan. At present, Hooker is ranked as the number nine lightweight in the division. While he might not slip too far down from this position, his inactivity won’t help him ascend the standings.

When he returns, he might not be able to fight Bobby Green immediately, as Green might by that point have overcome bigger challengers – taking him outside of Hooker’s remit.

Who Does Green Fight Now?

Bobby Green, by most accounts, doesn’t need to fight again in 2023, having already had three bouts in the calendar year. The UFC #13 lightweight most certainly wants to ascend the rankings and keep active, as he’s told the promotion to keep the fight, and he’s open to fighting any late-notice opponent.

Gordon Wants to Fight After No Contest Against Green

Jared Gordon was one of the first people to raise his hand when the vacant spot in the fight came up. The pair infamously fought to a no-contest result back in April this year after an accidental clash of heads knocked Gordon unconscious. Jared went on to defeat Mark Madsen in November 2023 with a first-round TKO and signaled he had unfinished business with Green. It’s certainly a fight with needle, and fans would be very excited to see an actual result play out between the two fighters.

McKinney Wants Bigger Fights

Terrance McKinney made MMA breaking news when he secured the fastest-ever lightweight finish and knockout with a seven-second KO victory against Matt Frevola in June 2021. At that point, the future seemed incredibly bright for McKinney. Unfortunately, that result may have been an exception to the rule, as he’s since acquired three more losses on his resume. He is currently on a two-match winning streak however and wants to reclaim his resurgence up the lightweight rankings. Taking this fight with Bobby Green will certainly be a step up in competition.

Would Dawson Entertain a Re-Match?

In early October 2023, Grant Dawson and Bobby Green squared off in the main event of a UFC Fight Night. Green, who was seen as the slight underdog ahead of the fight, managed to pick up a first-round KO victory within 33 seconds of the bell sounding. Dawson has been amicable and stated that he will continue to train toward his next fight despite the tough loss.

Is there enough fuel on the fire for an immediate re-match? After all, Dawson could have just had an off day, as suggested by some MMA news sites. This was just his second loss and the first to come via knockout. In theory, he could try to avenge the defeat immediately. Green might not initially want to fight him back-to-back but would be able to prove that this was more than a flash-in-the-pan victory with a second win. 

Could Holloway and Green Meet Earlier?

Max Holloway has referred to himself as the ‘best boxer in the UFC,’ which has certainly ignited a few other fighters on the roster to want to prove him wrong. Bobby Green is one such voice who has already vocalized his desire to put him in his place. While fight fans would want to see this fight, there are a few barriers stopping it from being executed for this Fight Night. While Holloway has fought at lightweight, he’s currently within the featherweight division. Catchweight contests are never particularly fruitful nor rated by MMA news websites.

Furthermore, the UFC would probably want to capitalize and profit from a fight of this magnitude and have it as its standalone event. Even if it was a co-main, they’d want to have more than two weeks to sell the fight.

Scrap the Fight and Wait

It’s worth considering that if no suitable opponent steps up, then the UFC shouldn’t just send out a dross or ill-matched fight to waste everyone’s time. Green has already fought three times this year and doesn’t need to simply bolster his total fight number. Instead, it would be more proficient to wait for a suitable fight.

Bump up Miesha Tate and Julia Avila to the main card as a result and make a quick match between some UFC upstarts to open the show so as to still provide the same amount of fights. While not as attractive as the initial fight, Bobby Green doesn’t need to keep up appearances by simply getting into the octagon with a jobber. He’s known to showcase a lot of urban fashionwear on his social media channels; he could do that instead of getting hit in the head.

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