Chael Sonnen Does Not Believe in Michael Chandler’s Ability to Beat Dan Hooker at UFC 257

Published 01/23/2021, 2:11 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 26: In this handout image provided by UFC, Dan Hooker of New Zealand poses on the scale during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on June 26, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC 257 is headlined by the sensational lightweight bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. However, the co-main event doesn’t have two slouches fighting. Michael Chandler will be making his highly-anticipated UFC debut. This debut is also coming against Dan Hooker, one of the most exciting fighters in the entire UFC.

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Former UFC title contender Chael Sonnen broke the fight down with former middleweight champion Michael Bisping on ESPN, and gave an interesting prediction for the fight. He picked ‘The Hangman’ to win the fight and said that debuting fighters with a lot of hype usually have a poor showing their first time in the Octagon.

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“I like Dan Hooker. Last week Michael Chandler was a 2-to-1 favorite. That surprises me. Look, historically speaking, guys making their Octagon debut underperform. Sometimes they win, but they do not have that performance. I believed your going to have to have a perfect performance to beat Dan Hooker and I don’t expect Chandler to have that. I have Hooker in an upset.”

UFC 257: Is Chael Sonnen correct in counting Chandler out?

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Michael Chandler is a former Bellator champion and has beaten two UFC lightweight champions before this. He beat Eddie Alvarez when ‘The Underground King’ was in his prime and his last fight was against Benson Henderson. However, do those wins speak to his quality in a UFC octagon?

SAITAMA, JAPAN – DECEMBER 29: Michael Chandler and Sidney Outlaw compete in the bout during the Bellator Japan – Fedor v Rampage at Saitama Super Arena on December 29, 2019 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

Chandler also did lose his lightweight title to Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire, arguably the best fighter outside the UFC right now. Hyped debutants have flopped in recent years, with Ben Askren being the biggest example. ‘Funky’ came to the UFC with an unblemished record and world titles in major organizations outside the UFC as well.

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Dan Hooker is one hell of a competitor inside the Octagon. While we don’t know how Chandler will look in the UFC, his past does show his caliber as a top-level fighter. With the stakes being what they are now, everyone would hope that the fight delivers. After all, Hooker is coming off a loss as well, but we will see if Sonnen was right in the next 24 hours.

Who do you think will win the co-main event at UFC 257?

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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