UFC 257: Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler- Prediction and Analysis

Published 01/21/2021, 11:05 PM EST


The co-main event for UFC 257 sees an electric lightweight scrap between Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler. There’s plenty on the line when looking at the future of the 155-pound division, especially when looking at the main event. Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier headline the bill and are the first front runners to fight for lightweight championship gold.

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Hooker and Chandler are in somewhat of a tournament bracket along with the main event, and hence their scrap is consequential. Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira is the other front runner threatening to snag their spot. Both Hooker and Chandler have plenty to gain from a win, especially considering Khabib Nurmagomedov’s stance on coming back from retirement.

UFC lightweights: Dan Hooker vs Michael Chandler

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‘The Hangman’ is coming off a hard-fought loss to Dustin Poirier in his last outing that was an instant classic. Hooker’s durability is one of his biggest assets, and it will take nothing short of the kitchen sink to put him away. Moreover, there’s something to be said for Dan Hooker’s dynamism and he’s able to adjust his offense on the fly.

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)

A power wrestler like ‘Iron’ Chandler will need to be wary of Hooker’s explosiveness and his creativity in close range. The New Zealand based lightweight star has devastating knees down the middle that is a frequent weapon. Moreover, Hooker comes in with looping hooks, which makes it a dangerous prospect to cut off the cage against him.

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Michael Chandler comes into the UFC from Bellator MMA as one of the biggest free-agent signings in recent memory. ‘Iron’ Chandler rounded off his Bellator contract with a win over former UFC 155-pound champion Benson Henderson. The former three-time lightweight champion in Chandler is not short on explosiveness, and his wrestling will be a defining feature.

Chandler has shown to have one of the best blast double takedowns across active lightweights. Furthermore, he’s got fight-ending power in both hands and he effectively masks his takedowns with brisk striking. His durability is certainly in question as he lost via KO to Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire not too long ago. Dan Hooker will certainly favor his chances should the fight slip into the final round.

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Prediction: Dan Hooker to claim a unanimous decision victory

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Darryl Pinto

1600 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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