“To get under his skin” – Dan Hooker gives context to insane Israel Adesanya sparring footage ahead of UFC 276

Dan Hooker weighs in on his recent sparring session with Israel Adesanya ahead of title fight against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276.

Dan Hooker Israel Adesanya sparring
Dan Hooker talks about intense sparring with Israel Adesanya

The recent sparring footage of Dan Hooker and Israel Adesanya shocked fans as the middleweight fighter received a beating from his featherweight teammate at City Kickboxing. “The Hangman” gives context to why he went hard on the middleweight fighter ahead of an important bout.

Sparring and training sessions can get tricky when you have a partner that is competitive. Both Israel Adesanya and Dan Hooker are known to be very ecstatic in the gyms and are one of the best fighters to come out of City KickBoxing gym in New Zealand. Recently, the former lightweight, Dan “The Hangman” Hooker was helping his friend train for his upcoming middleweight title clash against Jared Cannonier at UFC 276.

The training footage of Hooker throwing a beating on Adesanya as he emulated a fight’s ground-and-pound went viral. In the sparring footage, Dan can be seen going extra hard with his strikes than in a regular sparring session as he continues to talk smack to Adesanya on the mat. In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Dan gives context to why he was training in such a manner given Izzy’s important title defense is just a couple of days away.

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Dan Hooker clarifies he was only trying to “spike” Israel Adesanya’s adrenaline

Israel Adesanya Dan Hooker
Israel Adesanya and Dan Hooker

“I’m of the belief, no cameras at ‘Spider’. That’s my opinion on the whole thing. Spider is part of the business, we keep that in the team. Oh because he is getting shark tanked. It’s definitely not like sparring or anything,” said Dan talking to Submission Radio about the sparring session. In the footage, it can be seen that Hooker is trying to get under his teammate’s skin by talking trash and also trying to inflict the right amount of pain to fire Izzy up.

“That’s like a simulation of a fight. Me as a training partner I am trying to get him fired up and get under his skin and get some adrenaline pumping. It is not super skillful. It is my job as a training partner to get under his skin and push my teammates when they don’t want to be pushed,” said Hooker about the sparring footage.

Dan and Israel have been training partners for a long time. Adesanya has revealed in the past that Hooker always talks trash and tries to get under the skin of the middleweight champ.

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