Australia, the toughest guy on Earth is a Kiwi
Dan Hooker will stay an extra day in a Milwaukee hospital following his brutal loss to Edson Barboza.
The Kiwi star was beaten by technical knockout in the third round by the UFC's No. 5 ranked lightweight and was transported to hospital for monitoring.
Speaking to ESPN, Hooker's head coach Eugene Bareman said the 28-year-old suffered a concussion in the bout and be staying in hospital an extra day for observation.
After watching Hooker continue to charge forward, despite being in a "zombie-like" state from Barboza's punishing blows, most fight commentators were surprised to hear a concussion is all he received.
"He was visibly concussed several times, I believe," Bareman said.
"We have a very good set of protocols within the gym to take care of him. It's a ruthless game we play. Painful for me to watch that from a distance, but we have been here before many times, so I'm looking forward to the return."
Barboza vs Hooker was an ALL OUT WAR. Nothing but respect for both guys 🙌 pic.twitter.com/P8SKGdtSQD— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) 16 December 2018
Bareman also confirmed to ESPN Hooker did not suffer any broken bones during the fight.
The bout had many people calling for it to be stopped early, including the commentary team which featured dual weight class champion Daniel Cormier.
Hooker, ranked at No. 14, started the bout well and traded shots with Barboza, however the power of Barboza's strikes eventually go the better of the Kiwi - who took a spinning back kick clean to the abdomen which was a turning point in the contest.
He was checked by medical staff at the end of the second round after sustaining a lot of powerful strikes, and was judged to be in condition to fight on.
UFC boss Dana White led the criticism of Hooker's team's decision to allow him to return for the third round.
There was widespread calls for the referee or Hooker's camp to have stopped the Kiwi from returning for another possible five minutes of life-threatening hell.
He just kept coming.
"He showed a ton of toughness tonight, a ton of heart," White said.
"The fight actually should have been stopped earlier than it was.
"And Edson Barboza? Wow. That kid came out tonight and made a statement. He's nasty."
Midway through the third round Barboza was able to get the stoppage. Finally.
"He's a tough guy... one of the best in the world," Barboza said of Hooker when speaking to UFC media after the bout.
"He's a tough guy, he's young and he has a good future.
"I really landed good shots, clean with the punches and with the legs but, like I said, I fight with the best guys in the world and he's one of the best. It was a good fight."
The loss was Hooker's first since making the jump up a weight class from featherweight to lightweight and saw his professional record go to 17-8-0.
He didn't win the fight, but he may have briefly won the title of toughest bloke on this Earth. A "coffin nail" and a "zombie" were just some of the terms used to describe Hooker by UFC commentators after the fight.