Skip to Content

Michael Chandler Calls Dan Hooker “Nastiest, Toughest” Challenge of his MMA Career

Although Michael Chandler isn't getting the top 3 opponent he desired, he made it clear that Dan Hooker is his toughest challenge yet.

Michael Chandler Calls Dan Hooker “Nastiest, Toughest” Challenge of his MMA Career

Michael Chandler believes that Dan Hooker is one of the scariest lightweights on the UFC roster. Speaking with Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA, Chandler spoke about the ups and downs of his emotions before making his official UFC debut at UFC 257.

UFC 257

UFC 257 takes place on Saturday, January 23, 2021, in Abu Dhabi on Fight Island. the card not only marks the return of Conor McGregor, but also the debut of Michael Chandler. After a long period of finding an opponent since signing with the UFC, Chandler will take on Dan Hooker. 

Before heading to Abu Dhabi, Chandler spoke about the matchup with ESPN. Although, he also admitted that the UFC was ready to put him in higher profile matches right out of the gate.

“Obviously, when I came in, the UFC wanted to give me a test right away – throwing around names like (Tony) Ferguson, like (Dustin) Poirier, and (Charles) Oliveira, who are No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the division. Obviously, aside from Khabib (Nurmagomedov), because he’s semi-retired right now, we’re not sure what he’s doing yet. But these were the names that they were trying to get me booked against, so it wasn’t that Dan Hooker wasn’t a formidable opponent.”

Chandler on Dan Hooker Challenge

Although the big fights fell through, Chandler still believes that Hooker is one of the toughest fights in his life. This speaks volumes about the influx of talent in the UFC’s lightweight division.

“Here’s what I would say. Dan Hooker wasn’t on the radar. Or, the highest run of the radar, mainly because of the pecking order of the UFC’s rankings,” said Chandler. 

“Truthfully, he may be one of the saltiest, nastiest, toughest challenges both physically and with his attributes inside of the octagon than any of (the top-ranked fighters),” Chandler said. “I think that I match up better with Poirier than I do Hooker. Think I match up better with Gaethje than Hooker. I think I match up better with Ferguson than Hooker.

“So at the end of it all, I signed with the UFC to get to the top. In order to get to the top, I have to have a fight, I have to get inside the UFC octagon.”

If Chandler is able to successfully defeat Hooker in a definitive fashion, his status within the division will be propelled. Especially with a dominant performance on the same card as Conor McGregor. 

 

For more MMA News, Rumors and Updates follow the Red Monster on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram
Anthony Pettis
Anthony Pettis Wants to Box Before Retiring from MMA, Welcomes Jake Paul Fight
← Read Last Post
White
Dana White Warns Fans Who Plan on Illegally Pirating UFC 257
Read Next Post →