UFC 290: Top LW dogs Islam Makhachev with O.J. Simpson comparison

UFC 290's Dan Hooker has no regrets about accusing UFC LW champ Islam Makhachev of illegally using an IV at UFC 284.

By: Nate Wilcox | 1 month ago

Dan Hooker has no regrets

The UFC lightweight was a guest on the MMA Hour this week and when Ariel Helwani asked him about the controversy he triggered after UFC 284, Hooker was unrepentant. Refresher, that’s when Hooker accused the LW champ Islam Makhachev of illegally rehydrating via IV before his title defense against FW Alexander Volkanovski.

“There’s definitely something there, you know what I mean? Just because you don’t have…I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, or why it’s not why it didn’t go any further,” he said. “Maybe they didn’t have the evidence to get it over the line. But … where there’s smoke, there’s fire. O.J. Simpson’s walking around, you know what I mean? Would you invite him to your family barbecue? Probably not.

“In my opinion, Islam Makhachev took an IV. That’s, like, my opinion. I feel like it potentially might have been like a genuine misunderstanding of the rules. We saw from like my outburst, and then USADA’s clarification and then the backlash, there’s still a lot of like misunderstanding about the actual rule. I couldn’t even tell you the actual rule there.

“So USADA said it’s absolutely fine if you get a nurse to do it. But then like most commissions, it comes down to like a local commission. It’s obviously not allowed in Australia, but … it says if you get the commission’s approval. How many commissions are approving IV usage or who’s been given [one]? I feel like there’s still no real clarification around the topic.

“But yeah, now in hindsight, do I believe it like was truly like a malicious cheating thing? I think it might have been just, like a like a misunderstanding of the actual ruling, because it’s quite unclear. Like if USADA said something is all right, most people just think that’s all right then.”

Islam tweets back

Makhachev was quick to respond to Hooker’s comments via Twitter. His communication style is pithy and/or curt.

Makhachev has some room to talk since he made short work of Hooker at UFC 267.

Naturally, since we’re bringing up Twitter in this context, I have to mention the epic Tweet and delete that Makhachev’s manager Ali Abdelaziz made when Hooker’s accusations were fresh.


“For all those idiots out there, any fighter under the UFC banner can take 2-3 liters of IV as long as it’s done by a nurse or professional. Next week I’m gonna expose everybody. Islam Makhachev is the pound-for-pound king,” tweeted Abdelaziz only to delete a few moments later.

Hooker’s coach was more circumspect

Dan Hooker may have no regrets but his coach at City Kickboxing Eugene Bareman did not encourage him to speak out. Bareman told Ariel Helwani:

“I advised Dan against even talking about it. Look, as you can see, that information has holes in it, that’s what I’m alluding to, but also there’s enough information there for it to be like, ‘Eeeh…’

“This is why Alex and the rest of the team are laughing because we’re like, something’s going on there, we just can’t reliably say what it is.

“It’s frustrating because the whole sport should be played on an even playing field. Then again, you can’t reliably say that Islam cheated, so I wouldn’t go out there and say that in the manner that Dan did.

“That’s just—I don’t think you can reliably say that. But something was going on there.”

Hooker vs. Jalin Turner at UFC 290

Despite still being asked about the controversy from several PPVs ago, Hooker has his hands full tomorrow night at UFC 290 in Las Vegas where he’ll face Jalin Turner, the #11 Lightweight in the division according to the official UFC rankings.

Turner is a heavy favorite despite coming in off a split decision loss to Mateusz Gamrot at UFC 285 in March. Turner’s 5-1 in his last 6 and looking to get back in contention. Hooker is 2-4 in his last 6 including a TKO win over Claudio Puelles in his last bout at UFC 281.

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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