A top Kiwi MMA fighter known as the 'Hangman' is offering a thief free membership at his gym, to "teach him self respect".

Dan Hooker, the Auckland fighter ranked 12th in the UFC's lightweight division, says he wants to "extend the olive branch" after his wallet was swiped from a truck.

Hooker's generous offer has got a mixed response from his social media followers.

The thief is just lucky Hooker, who runs the Combat Academy in Ellerslie, wasn't in the vicinity on Saturday night. But there is every chance of an inspiring outcome.


[Read more: Man tries to rob UFC fighter Polyana Viana, regrets it immediately]

Hooker put security shots of the man — who has distinctive tattoos — on social media in an effort to track him down. The thief had used Hooker's card at a Greenlane money machine.

"I'm going to turn the other cheek and give him a free membership to my gym. Martial arts will teach him self respect and discipline so he doesn't go around stealing from other hardworking Kiwis," Hooker wrote.

One of Hooker's Instagram followers described him as a "class act" but another questioned why he would want to give a freebie to a "piece of trash". Others thought Hooker might enjoy a sparring session with the thief.

Hooker fights in the same division as MMA superstars Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. He has a 7-4 record in the UFC but lost his last fight to Brazil's Edson Barboza by knockout in December. The loss in Milwaukee was his first in five bouts since moving up from the featherweight division.