Dan Hooker won’t rule out a return to lightweight, but is committed to his featherweight move.

Hooker (21-11 MMA, 11-7 UFC) will return to 145 pounds when he faces Arnold Allen (17-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 204, which takes place March 19 at O2 Arena in London.

After starting out his UFC career as a featherweight, Hooker eventually moved up to lightweight and went on to have plenty of success battling some of the top contenders. While he’s not necessarily done with lightweight, Hooker sees featherweight as the right move.

“I’m focused and committed to the weight class at the time,” Hooker told MMA Junkie. “I wouldn’t make the move to featherweight if I was just seeing how it goes or this and that. I’m committed to featherweight and I’m focused on featherweight. I guess I’ve just left the chat. I’ve left the chat at lightweight and we’ll see how the next couple of years go. When it comes down to fighting, whatever weight class I get offered for whatever opponent, that’s not like a real issue to me. But I just feel like this is the best weight class for me.”

Hooker has lost three of his past four outings, but says the idea of returning to his original home crossed his mind a couple of years before his rough patch.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a while, actually,” Hooker said. “I originally hit my coaches up and let them know that I would have liked to have gone back to featherweight over a year ago. I think it was like 2020 when I first hit them up, and they weren’t that keen on it. They were confident in my ability and thought there was no one I could really not beat.

“The weight and size wasn’t going to be an issue, and skill for skill that I could compete with anyone in the division. But after a couple of setbacks, it definitely changes the landscape and it was just a good time to make the move. So it was definitely something that was in the cards, and it just made sense to make the move.”

In order to prove that moving back down to featherweight was the right decision, Hooker recently went through a test cut with the help of the UFC Performance Institute and hit the mark with no issues.

“The test cut wasn’t really for me,” Hooker said. “I knew I could do it – I definitely knew that I could do it. I just utilized that time that I had stuck in Las Vegas where I was at the PI and working with the team there and the nutritionists there, Charles and Clint, and then my nutritionist ‘The Fight Dietician’ Jordan – just bouncing back-and-forth off those guys, and just felt it was a good opportunity. My coaches kind of wanted to see it, I guess, and got it done, and it was done in just a couple of weeks and it was all fairly straightforward. I recovered well, did some tests the day after the weight cut, and they all came back good to go – so yeah, just getting it past everyone.”

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