Dan Hooker granted last-minute visa for UFC bout

Matt Manukia
Source: 1 NEWS

Kiwi UFC lightweight Dan Hooker has been granted a visa to travel the United States and will arrive in Las Vegas just over 24 hours before his bout with Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 266.

Due to Level 4 lockdown delays, Hooker was told last week that the US Embassy in Auckland would not be able to process his visa in time for him to travel for his fight on Sunday (NZT).

He turned to Twitter, appealing to the top US official in New Zealand, Kevin Covert. The US Embassy then granted him an appointment on Monday, where his visa was rubber-stamped.

The 31-year-old missed a flight he had booked for last Sunday and will now be forced on to the next available flight on Thursday. It means he will undergo his usual weight cut while flying to Los Angeles before catching a connecting flight to Las Vegas for the official weigh-in on Friday in the US.

“I had to do what I had to do,” Hooker told 1News after receiving his visa.

“The squeaky wheel gets the oil and I’m off.

“It’s definitely never been done [traveling so late] from this far away but I’m definitely ready for the challenge.”