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Nasrat Haqparast receives visa in time to travel to UFC 266 for fight against Dan Hooker

UFC Fight Night: Haqparast v Garcia Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The last hurdle for Nasrat Haqparast and Dan Hooker to clash at UFC 266 has been cleared.

Early Thursday morning, Haqparast revealed that he had received his visa in time to travel from Germany to the United States in order to arrive in Las Vegas with enough time to cut weight and then compete on Saturday night.

There was plenty of concern if he’d even be able to travel while waiting for his visa clearance after returning home to Germany following the tragic death of his mother less than two weeks ago. Prior to his trip back to Germany, Haqparast had been training in Los Angeles.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, visa approvals have been moving at a much slower pace, and Haqparast was concerned that he wouldn’t gain clearance in time to travel to Las Vegas for the fight.

Now that he’s received his visa, Haqparast will leave Germany on a flight bound for the U.S., which will arrive on Thursday. He will then immediately start cutting weight in order to step onto the scale on Friday morning ahead of his fight on Saturday.

While none of this happens under optimal circumstances, Haqparast won’t be alone with his late travel schedule – Hooker is enduring almost exactly the same ordeal.

Hooker also had to scramble to get his visa approval in New Zealand with his flight scheduled to arrive stateside on Thursday evening. He’ll have approximately 12 hours until he weighs in.

“I’m not worried about that,” Hooker told MMA Fighting earlier this week. “That’s the small stuff, we can iron that out. I’m prepared for absolutely anything. I’m just gonna do what I’m told and just focus on the fight. Whether it’s a hard cut or an easy cut, once I’m there, I’m there. Without a doubt, [I’ll make the weight].”

Hooker vs. Haqparast is scheduled as the featured prelim for UFC 266, which kick off at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Saturday night from Las Vegas.