Dan Hooker Wants Ricardo Lamas in Manila: That’s legitimately a guy I think I can take out so get me in there

B.j. Penn is out of his scheduled contest against Ricardo Lamas and Kiwi featherweight Daniel Hooker wants to take his spot.

Penn, a former lightweight and welterweight UFC champion, was scheduled to fight Lamas in the UFC’s return to the Philippines next weekend, but reports have surfaced that he is out with an injury. It would have been Penn’s first fight in the octagon since losing his featherweight debut to Frankie Edgar in 2014.

Lamas therefore needs a new opponent to headline the Manila card and ‘Hangman’ has thrown his name into the mix declaring it is a fight he believes he can win.

“I’m ready for that main event spot against Ricardo Lamas, I’m not looking to make weight and get a paycheck, you know, that’s legitimately a guy I think I can take out so get me in there, give me the opportunity to showcase my skills and I’ll put New Zealand on the map.” Hooker stated in a live Facebook video.

Hooker is 3-2 in the UFC and recently picked up a first round submission victory over Mike Eddiva earlier this year in Brisbane. The Kiwi is encouraging fans on social media to hound the UFC using the hash tag #HangmanforManila to help him get the fight.

It wouldn’t be the first time the fans have helped Hooker to get what he wants. In 2014, a groundswell of support online helped him get to make his UFC debut in his hometown of Auckland. A few months later they helped him again get onto a subsequent card in Japan.

It would be a big step up in competition for the Kiwi with Lamas having previously fought for the UFC title and is a regular top 10 fighter in the featherweight division. Hooker however, is clearly not concerned by the prospect of facing such a tough opponent on such short notice.

“ten days’ notice, I’ve just finished 10 rounds on the pads with my coach and we are ready, we are in shape” Hooker declared.

Hooker has been helping out top Australian lightweight Alex Volkanovski prepare for his UFC debut on the Manila card against Jon Tuck.

“New Zealand MMA, Australian MMA we kinda work together on a global scene.” Hooker stated.

Whether the Kiwi will get his wish to join the Aussie on the Manila card remains to be seen, but if Hooker gets the call, rest assured, he will be ready.

UFC Fight Night 97 takes place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on October 15.

Dan Hooker: UFC Melbourne, the featherweight division and the business of fighting

My earliest combat sports memory is watching David Tua knock people out with his left hook.  I am extremely passionate about combat sports in Australia and my home country of New Zealand and I endeavour to grow the profile of martial arts and its athletes in both countries. Persistent Brazilian jiu-jitsu battler.