UFC 266 Odds: Dan Hooker vs. Nasrat Haqparast Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Sep 23, 2021

UFC 266's undercard features an intriguing fight between ranked lightweight veteran Dan Hooker and rising star Nasrat Haqparast.

Perhaps the deepest division in the UFC is at lightweight, and No. 8 ranked Dan Hooker looks to stay that way on Saturday at UFC 266 in Las Vegas when he faces Nasrat Haqparast on the preliminary card. Hookier is a -170 favourite to win on the MMA odds, with Haqparast at +130.

Dan Hooker UFC 266 Odds

The current UFC lightweight champion is Charles Oliveira and Hooker is ranked eighth. The 31-year-old Kiwi is 20-10 in a professional career that dates to 2009. Hooker is a former King in the Ring middleweight kickboxing champion and WKBF X-Rules welterweight king.

“The Hangman” made his UFC debut in 2014 with a longest win streak of four in a row – his best win probably coming over Gilbert Burns at UFC 226. However, Hooker is heading in the wrong direction, currently on a two-fight losing streak. He fell in June 2020 to current No. 1 lightweight contender Dustin Poirier by unanimous decision (one of the best fights of the year) and then in January by first-round TKO to former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler (ranked fourth in the division).

Hooker seemed to retire immediately after the Chandler bout but changed his mind. He has 10 wins by KO/TKO, seven by submission and three by decision, while the majority of his losses (60 per cent) are via the judges. For Saturday, Hooker winning by decision is +175, by KO/TKO/DQ +225 and by submission +800.

His fights last an average of 10:22. Hooker lands 4.95 significant strikes per minute with 48 per cent accuracy and absorbs 4.92 per minute with 51 per cent defence. His takedown average is 0.72 per 15 minutes with 34 per cent accuracy and his defence 79 per cent.

Nasrat Haqparast UFC 266 Odds

The 25-year-old Haqparast, from Germany (his parents are Afghan), is 13-3 and considered on the rise in the division but not yet ranked – although this will be a step up in competition. He comes off a unanimous decision win over Rafa Garcia in March and is 5-1 in his past six fights. Nasrat had some visa issues getting to the USA but that has been cleared up. His mother also recently died.

Nine of Nasrat’s 13 wins are by KO/TKO with the other four via decision. He has lost once each by KO/TKO, submission and decision. His favoured method of victory Saturday is by decision at +245, followed by KO/TKO/DQ at +450 and by submission at +1200.

Nasrat’s fights average 11:41. The southpaw lands 5.81 significant strikes per minute with 47 per cent accuracy and absorbs 3.23 per minute with 74 per cent defence. His takedown average is just 0.18 per 15 minutes with 16 per cent accuracy, and his takedown defence is 84 per cent.

Haqparast will be giving up two inches in height and three inches in reach to Hooker.

UFC 266 Prediction: Hooker vs. Haqparast

Haqparast by decision in minor upset.

SportsInteraction