Dan Hooker Believes Michael Chandler’s Fighting Style Works Against Him

Published 01/06/2021, 10:56 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 26: 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)


Dan Hooker is preparing for the biggest fight of his career at UFC 257 against Michael Chandler. A win on the undercard of the Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier fight will help Hooker establish himself as a genuine title contender in this division after his loss to Poirier in 2020.

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Yesterday, Chandler said that Hooker is the hardest matchup he could have gotten, but now he has seemingly reiterated that point. Hooker spoke to SCMP MMA and said that Chandler’s fighting style will ‘take the monkey work out’ for him.

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“He usually comes out guns blazing, on the front foot with pressure. But I like that. You’re gonna come to me, you’re gonna dip your head and shoot in for takedowns. You’re taking a lot of the monkey work out of it for me. It’s like picking someone off until they do that. Until they start trying to get in your face. If he’s gonna do it off the bat, I just gotta set the traps. Throw a few landmines down there and see what he runs into.”

Dan Hooker: Can he beat a debuting Michael Chandler?

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Hooker is one of the most electric strikers in the sport right now. While people expected Chandler to get an even tougher opponent than this, the Hooker challenge isn’t one that Chandler should gloss over. With the statements both men have made, there is an evident feeling that Hooker has an advantage in their matchup.

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)

However, MMA fights aren’t won by the quality of the matchups. On a skill level, Chandler is definitely more rounded than Hooker. But if he tries to box with Hooker, the night may become very uncomfortable for him.

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Most people will have Chandler as the favorite, considering his resume prior to this. While he did get knocked out in Bellator by their Featherweight Champion, he has a very polished arsenal himself. Hopefully, he and Hooker put on a fantastic fight.

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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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