For the past six years, Dan Hooker has been the figurative poster boy for New Zealand mixed martial arts.
Now heading into his 28th professional bout, the moniker is set to become a literal one.
All going well, the 29-year-old Kiwi lightweight will find himself front and centre on the promotional poster for the UFC's Auckland fight night on February 23 where he will fight American Paul Felder in the main event of the evening.
"I don't think I've ever been on a poster my entire career, let alone in the UFC. UFC Auckland, my face on the poster, mate nothing will beat that … it'll be framed up for a while that one," Hooker said.
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"I can't wait 'til I have it. I really thought that co-main event spot in Melbourne would get it, but they juked me."
The fight will be Hooker's first main event spot in the UFC, 13 fights after making his debut with to promotion at the same venue in 2014.
One of few Kiwis on the roster at the time, Hooker has been the flag bearer for New Zealand on the biggest stage in the sport for the longest of any athlete on the active roster. In the time he's amassed a 9-4 record, winning six of seven fights since moving up from featherweight in 2017.
In making the walk out to the octagon at the event in February, for which tickets go on sale from Friday, Hooker will have fought at every UFC event in New Zealand to date.
Now ranked No 7 in the UFC's lightweight rankings, the Kiwi meets the No 6 ranked Felder in the biggest fight of his career so far. Many had tipped to two to meet at some stage in their careers after Hooker called out Felder while the American, who doubles as part of the commentary team, was interviewing the Kiwi after a win in mid-2018.
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"It would have been a coward's move to then go on my phone out back after that fight and say I want a ranked opponent next. I was standing face to face with one, and that's the way I like to handle my business – when you can see a man and look in his eyes."
With the two now set to square off under the bright lights of Spark Arena in February, there's plenty on the line for both fighters. For Hooker, it's all about getting himself in position to make a case for a title shot in 2020.
"They are all just numbers to me. I couldn't care less about their names, if they're good at this or good at that, or stylistically matching it up, they're simply numbers to me … they're just numbers in the way of something I want.
"I don't have Jedi mind powers so I don't spend any time thinking about Paul's situation. We're all here to feed our families, we're all here to make a name for ourselves and be world champion, and we'll smash any man in the way.
"We're two guys who want the same thing; there's only one bone and two dogs, what are you going to do? We're going to fight for it. That's it."