MMA: NZ's Dan Hooker offers donation to Dustin Poirier's charity if he accepts fight

Hooker.
Hooker. Photo credit: Getty

Kiwi UFC lightweight Dan Hooker is putting his money where his mouth is.

Last weekend at UFC 243, 'The Hangman' took to the mic after his emphatic unanimous decision win over Al Iaquinta and made it abundantly clear exactly who he wants to fight next and where.

"Dustin Poirier, I'm going to smash your face in," Hooker said in his post-fight interview. "Meet me in New Zealand in 2020. I'm going to end you."

Second in the UFC's lightweight rankings, 'The Diamond' Poirier acknowledged the callout but declined the challenge, insisting the seventh-ranked Hooker earn his spot in the Octagon with him by first beating Donald Cerrone.

Now the surging Aucklander has added further incentive for Poirier to accept the bout, with the offer to donate half of his earnings from the fight to the American's charity.

The Good Fight Foundation funds both local and global community initiatives, from helping to build wells in Uganda to food drives for the needy.

Hooker reportedly banked a total of $US170,000 (NZ$268,396) for his co-main event win over Iaquinta last weekend.

After defeating Poirier in Abu Dhabi last month, lightweight champion Khabaib Nurmagomedov donned The Diamond's fight shirt for his post-fight interview then put it up for auction, with all proceeds to go to Poirier's charity. It raised over US$100,000 (NZ$157,880), an amount UFC boss Dana White matched.

"He's the highest-ranked guy," Hooker told ESPN, justifying his callout of Poirier. "And I just beat the number six in the world in pretty convincing fashion.

"He's coming off a loss, he doesn't have a fight so he's the highest-ranked guy that doesn't have a fight. I'll start my way into the top. He's number two, so I'll start there."

Hooker has been vocal in his demands for the UFC to return to New Zealand next year, and the success of Kiwi fighters in Melbourne last weekend has strengthened that case considerably.

The last UFC event held in NZ was in Auckland in June 2017, when Hooker knocked out Ross Pearson in the co-main event.

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