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USATSI

As lightweight contender Dan Hooker prepares for his close-up on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas against Dustin Poirier, American fight fans have been able to get to know the 30-year-old New Zealand product even better. 

It just so happens that Hooker (20-8), who has won seven of his last eight inside the Octagon, has a way with words when describing his adversaries that has come as a bit of a shock to some who only know his fighting style and boyish looks. 

Yet whether it's predicting he will smash in Poirier's face inside the UFC Apex facility this weekend or predicting that a knockout this weekend will make Justin Gaethje "look like a bum" (considering Poirier stopped the current interim champion in 2018), Hooker has freely said his peace. 

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There was a random tweet, however, last Saturday during the opening bout of a UFC card that ended in controversy that got Hooker in a bit of hot water. 

After lightweight Max Rohskopf asked out of his loss to Austin Hubbard after Round 2 despite the pleas of coach Robert Drysdale urging him to continue, Hooker sent out a tweet -- since deleted -- that drew the ire of many of his fans. 

"How do you get into the UFC without realizing you're made of marshmallows," Hooker tweeted. 

Asked for an explanation on Wednesday during an appearance on CBS Sports' "State of Combat" podcast, Hooker could only laugh. 

"The explanation? Aw, people were just making a big deal out of nothing," Hooker said. "Being called a marshmallow, if that hurts your feelings then I'm not too sure this is the sport for you.

"I got messages from other people saying, 'I'm a huge fan but you're a dick, pretty much.' That translates to, 'I like how you physically harm people and inflict damage but when you're a little bit mean to someone, that crosses the line for me.' It's funny to me. I don't know what people are getting so upset about. It is what it is."

Hooker doesn't necessarily consider himself good at trash talking because he said he believes in everything he says. 

"I have been real throughout my career. It's just my honest opinion," Hooker said. "I feel like I'm saying the same stuff and being genuine to my character but people are just paying more attention. That's the only thing that has changed. 

"I don't try to talk trash. I'm not trying to do anything. When I say something, I'm just sharing my intention. When I say to Dustin, 'I'm going to smash your face in,' what about that is a lie or something I made up? I'm going to try and smash his face in. That's my honest intention."