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Michael Chandler Predicting Dan Hooker To Outpoint Islam Makhachev At UFC 267

Chandler, who defeated Hooker in his UFC debut earlier this year, is going with the New Zealander over Makhachev.

Michael Chandler Predicting Dan Hooker To Outpoint Islam Makhachev At UFC 267

Michael Chandler is expecting a win for Dan Hooker against Islam Makhachev.

Hooker steps in on short notice to fight Makhachev in a lightweight bout set for the UFC 267 event taking place Saturday night in Abu Dhabi.

However, even if it wasn’t on short notice and Hooker had a full camp, the chances are most observers would still side with Makhachev to come out on top.

Not Chandler, however.

The former Bellator lightweight champion — who earned a successful UFC debut by TKOing Hooker earlier this year — is picking the New Zealander to come out on top and end Makhachev’s eight-fight winning streak.

“Man, I think Dan Hooker is one of the toughest guys in the division,” Chandler said in a recent interview. “One of the toughest chins in the division. This is a fight game where we fight in 4oz gloves and you can get caught in the chin by anybody on any night and it’s over. So the fact that I was able to finish him in the first two-and-a-half minutes is not indicative of him not having a great chin, not being able to push the pace. He’s extremely long, he’s extremely versatile, he uses that length.

“I think Makhachev is going to have a tough time getting in and closing the distance on Dan Hooker. Even if he does get him on the cage, I think Dan Hooker’s cage defense as we saw in the [Dustin] Poirier fight and his last fight, both offense and defense off of the cage control, he’s really skilled there. I think Dan Hooker wins that fight, I do. I think Makhachev fought number 14, he was number 9, beat 14 and somehow ended up at number five without having to fight anybody in the upper echelon of the top 10.”

Chandler Rates Makhachev But Expects Hooker Decision

That’s not to say Chandler doesn’t rate Makhachev. It would be silly for anyone not to going by his body of work over the last couple of years.

However, Chandler is still going with Hooker and believes he will outpoint Makhachev over three rounds.

“Makhachev is defintiely the future of the lightweight division,” Chandler added. “He is good, he is skilled, he does have an entire country on his back so he’s fighting for more than just himself. We’ll see how the fight plays out. I think Hooker wins a decision.”

Whether Chandler actually believes that or is just bigging himself up by picking an opponent he already beat? Only he knows for sure.

You can watch the full interview below:

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