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UFC 267 live blog: Islam Makhachev vs. Dan Hooker

Islam Makhachev and Dan Hooker
Islam Makhachev and Dan Hooker will clash in the UFC 267 main event Saturday.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

This is the UFC 267 live blog for Islam Makhachev vs. Dan Hooker, a lightweight main card bout on Saturday’s fight card at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Makhachev is the No. 6 ranked lightweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, a ranking that might be higher if more of the eight straight wins he’s earned in the octagon had come against ranked competition. With his longtime teammate and coach Khabib Nurmagomedov out of the picture, the Dagestani fighter has a clear lane to apply the same smothering style that allowed “The Eagle” to topple the lightweight division after a long, slow build.

In Makhachev’s way is an opponent that offers a bridge to a top-five opponent, Dan Hooker, who’s ranked lower at No. 9 but carries the name recognition that’s needed to build critical mass. Originally, Makhachev was scheduled to take on ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos, but an injury forced a last-minute scramble that brought short-notice opportunity for Hooker, who beat Nasrat Haqparast just over one month ago and elected to stay stateside for the opportunity after visa troubles in his native New Zealand.

Check out the UFC 267 live blog.