UFC lightweight contender Islam Makhachev has responded to Dan Hooker’s five-round proposal for UFC 267, which “The Hangman” has perceived to be an acceptance of the challenge.

Makhachev was originally slated to fight bitter rival Rafael dos Anjos on October 30. However, due to recent surgery, the former UFC Lightweight Champion was forced to withdraw from the UFC’s non-pay-per-view numbered event. In his place stepped up Hooker. Just days out from his three-round clash with Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266, which ended in a unanimous decision victory for the New Zealander, Hooker accepted a short-notice clash with one of the promotion’s fastest-rising title contenders.

As if accepting a short-notice bout against one of the most dangerous and feared men in the 155-pound weight class wasn’t enough, Hooker recently suggested their fight fight be moved from three rounds to five.

Hooker’s proposal came after members of Makhachev’s camp doubted “The Hangman” and his chances of victory this weekend. The Dagestani’s friend and teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov recently suggested the only way his compatriot could lose is through a “lucky punch.”

Having previously responded to “The Eagle” and those doubting him by claiming he “can knock out or submit any man in this world,” Hooker has doubled down on his confidence by revealing his willingness to enter the cage with the #5-ranked lightweight for 25 minutes.

In response, Makhachev took to Twitter to suggest Hooker’s request would create a far worse scenario for the Auckland-born 31-year-old.

It’s worse for you https://t.co/P02zEv67iw

— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) October 23, 2021

“It’s worse for you,” wrote Makhachev.

Having recently defeated Thiago Moisés in the fourth round of his first scheduled five-round bout in the UFC, Makhachev clearly believes he’d have the edge over 25 minutes at UFC 267.

However, Dan Hooker is no stranger to five-round battles. “The Hangman” went the 25-minute distance in back-to-back wars against Paul Felder and Dustin Poirier last year. During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, the 31-year-old explained why he requested for his matchup with Makhachev to be moved to five frames.

“Let’s do it. I just feel good, man. I feel like there was a couple of really hard weeks getting back into it, getting back into the swing of things, and by that I mean getting the rounds in with the bodies, getting the sparring in, getting the wrestling in. (I’ve been) wrestling everyday, conditioning every second day, and it was a real grind there for a couple of weeks. And then that last week just come on, man, just felt good, felt the fitness was there; wrestling for, you know, wrestling for 45 minutes straight and feeling good, feeling sharp, feeling fresh, feeling like everything was technically there.

“I feel like a five-rounder… if we can make that happen, I’m 100% in. Let’s make it five. I feel like people are intrigued by this matchup, as intrigued as the co-main and main, so let’s do it justice.”

Discussing Makhachev’s short response to the proposal, Hooker suggested he perceives it to be “a yes” from the Dagestani. He made it clear that if the increased fight length doesn’t come to fruition, it’s either down to the promotion or Makhachev’s unwillingness.

“That’s a yes, that’s, ‘That sounds good to me,’ that’s a yes. That’s him calling my bluff and me going all in. That’s me backing my hand and going all in. If that’s his response then let’s do it. What’s the hold up? Let’s make it five rounds… let’s push Sean Shelby (and) Dana White, let’s do this fight justice… let’s make it 25 minutes, let’s get after it, let’s see who really is the better fighter when we get out there.”

Would you like to see Dan Hooker and Islam Makhachev battle for five rounds rather than three at UFC 267?

Continue Reading Makhachev Responds To Five-Round Proposal, Hooker Sees It As A Yes at MMA News.

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