Image shows UFC star’s ‘amazing sacrifice’

UFC fighter Dan Hooker has shared a heartbreaking image of himself in quarantine after returning home to New Zealand from a professional fight.

On Sunday, Hooker faced lightweight rival Dustin Poirier at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas in what has been described as the best fight of 2020 to date.

Poirier was awarded the victory via unanimous decision, but Hooker gained plenty of respect following the entertaining encounter.

Although the 30-year-old was permitted to return to New Zealand, he is required to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks as per the country’s COVID-19 travel regulations.

On Tuesday, Hooker posted an image to social media of his daughter clenching at a metallic barrier approximately two metres from her father.

Hooker captioned the saddening photo: “So close yet so far!”

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ESPN journalist Ariel Helwani shared the image to Twitter, sympathising with the UFC star.

“Man. Can’t imagine how difficult this is for Hooker,” Helwani wrote.

“Because he flew (and fought) to Vegas, he now has to quarantine for 14 days back home in NZ at a hotel. This is the closest he can come to his family during that two-week period.”

MMA reporter Niall McGrath replied: “That sucks, amazing the sacrifice these guys make. Something that’s often taken for granted.”

Hooker was left with a battered face following Sunday’s brutal five-round slugfest. After he was rushed to hospital, the New Zealander posted a video online sporting a heavily bruised face.

Quick message for the people that support me. Credit to Poirier better man on the night, no regrets, no excuses. Minor setbacks ain't a major for me. 😉 #teamhangman #rideordieonly

“Hey everyone, just back at the hotel with the lads,” he said.

“Having a feast, just got checked out of the hospital, everything is all good, just a couple of stitches on the eye.

“But hey, that’s the game the game we play no worries.

“Just a small setback and then I’ll be back.”

Currently sitting at No. 5 in the UFC lightweight rankings, Hooker’s professional record stands at 20 wins and nine losses following Sunday’s defeat.

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