UFC star Dan Hooker has reunited after months of being apart with his three year-old daughter

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Hooker had previously moved to Las Vegas because of strict Covid-19 regulations that impacted his travel to New Zealand. But the UFC star has returned home

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Dan Hooker, UFC London’s champion, has returned to New Zealand to reunite his daughter and for the first time in this year.

Hooker moved to Las Vegas in September last year to train for his fight against Nasrat Haiqparast. Hooker was unable to return to New Zealand due to strict Covid-19 quarantine regulations. ‘The Hangman’ decided to remain in the USA.

Hooker was denied entry to the US because of a lockdown in his country. This meant that Hooker couldn’t obtain his visa for travel to the US until just days before his fight against Haqparast. He stayed in Vegas for his brief-notice fight against Islam Makhachev, one month after he won a decision at UFC 266, despite all the travel hassles.

Hooker was defeated by Arnold Allen in the first round of UFC London. Hooker was able, after months of separation, to return home as New Zealand has lifted all Covid-19 restrictions.

Hooker’s defeat to Michael Chandler in May saw him placed in quarantine and unable to greet his wife or daughter for more than two kilometres.

Allen was a heavyweight before his fight, knowing that he could return home without any problems because New Zealand had relaxed their border regulations earlier in the month.

“The positions I was in, going into fights, knowing that might happen where it might take you months to recover and knowing that it might take you four months, three months, two months in a hotel room by yourself [not able to get home]It is a difficult task,” he stated.

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“Once I’m at home sitting on my couch with my wife, my daughter and my friends are coming over … I can do anything. There’s more freedom than free, and it’s all good.

“To know I’m able to jump on plane, go see my baby, go see my wife … I won’t be worried about getting into a firefight. I don’t need to worry about anything, I can gun sling and go out.”

Hooker was hoping to return to winning ways against Allen in his first fight at 145-pounds since 2017, but he was stopped in the first round in a back and forth fight. The 32-year-old has now lost four of his last five UFC appearances.