No, Dan Hooker did not retire after losing to Michael Chandler at UFC 257

Michael Chandler announced his Octagon arrival at UFC 257 with a blistering 2:30 knockout of Dan Hooker. After taking his lumps, the New Zealander threw his gloves down on the cage floor and stormed away.

In the mixed martial arts world, dropping your gloves in the Octagon is the universal sign for retirement. But that’s not what happened at UFC 257.

Of course, in the frustration of the moment, that could have been an easy decision, if not an unwise one, for Hooker to make. But when the smoke cleared, Hooker told Submission Radio that he had not retired, he was simply frustrated in losing.

You’re always frustrated after a loss. Yeah, like, a balance of everything. Like, of sheer frustration, you’re disappointed. And then you get back to the hotel. In that moment, I was like, ‘I’m done. I’m finished with this shitty sport. I’m done.’

And then you get back to the hotel and you sit down and think about it, and you realize you’re not good at anything else either (laughs). I was kind of thinking, s–t, I’ve kind of painted myself into a bit of a corner here (laughs).

This is a sport I’ve been doing and following for my entire adult life. So, it’s always a possibility. Like, a loss like this, you’re not rolling around in depression, like super upset. It’s kind of self-explanatory, and it is what is. I can honestly say, I’m not any more upset than when I lost the Poirier fight.

Michael Chandler rocks Dan Hooker at UFC 257
Michael Chandler rocks Dan Hooker at UFC 257

TRENDING > Rankings Review: What happened to Marlon Vera and Montana De La Rosa?


Hooker is already back in the gym, though he’s not keen on taking any more punches to his skull right away. He’s smarter than that. He knows that the only way to get over his back-to-back losses to Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler is to get back in the Octagon and notch a victory, but he also realizes he has to make sure he heals properly from the knockout first.

“I’m back in the gym, I’m training, I’m wrestling, I’m grappling. But getting hit in the head is not even a thought of mine for the coming months. Like, you just gotta be smart about it. So, I’m not even thinking about that.”

“It’s just like a constant ringing in your ear, and over time it will irritate you long enough that it’s like an ich you need to scratch, and it’s like you need to get back in there and avenge it. And the only thing that I’ve found that will ever get rid of that, is a win, is to turn that around. We’re in the sport where you’re as good as your last fight.”