During his time spent in the UFC, Chase Hooper is built up quite a good relationship with Ben Askren. That is why he had a hard time watching his friend get knocked out in a boxing match against the YouTuber.
When Hooper first began growing a fan base in the UFC, he did so by associating himself with Ben Askren. They have a similar curly hair afro style, and Chase decided to use that to his advantage by claiming himself as one of Ben’s surrogate children.
The moment that this joke really reached its peak, was when Chase approached Jorge Masvidal as a member of media to do an interview. He confronted Jorge for knocking out his “father” in a moment that went viral on the internet.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 16, 2020
Ben Askren Has No Ego Left
Since this interaction between Chase Hooper and Jorge Masvidal, Ben Askren has gone on to suffer another embarrassing knockout. This time it came at the hands of YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul, and a highly publicized boxing match until the Triller banner.
Speaking in an interview with MiddleEasy, Chase explained that it’s a little hard to watch someone that he is friends with getting knocked out like that. That said, he believes it Ben took that fight because he did not care whether he won or lost.
“Watching someone that you know personally, at least a little bit, and seeing something like that happen to him, it’s just a little rough to watch. Especially because he’s such a cool dude, he’s such a great person,” Hooper said.
“I think it was just such an upside for him that he didn’t care either way. With the Mazda doll and he’s already got one of the most memed losses in history. Anything he posts, he gets that thrown at him all the time, probably daily. So I don’t think he cares. I don’t think he has too much of an ego left at this point.”
That being said, Hooper said that he may try approaching Jake Paul in the way that he did with Jorge Masvidal. In fact, he’s considering challenging the YouTuber to a gi Jiu-Jitsu match.
“I will maybe consider challenging him to a gi Jiu-Jitsu match. Other than that and I’m not trying to box anybody, or even wrestle anybody. Maybe some combat Jiu-Jitsu, but other than that, I’m not trying to get into any crazy YouTube fights yet.”
Chase Hooper Excited For Steven Peterson Fight
Chase Hooper is looking to get his second win in a row when he faces off against Steven Peterson on June 12th, at UFC 263. This is a matchup that the 21-year old is really excited for.
He explained that his first few fights in the UFC have been against people with similar reaches than he has. So with this bout against Peterson, he is pumped to face someone on the shorter end, and show off his distance management skills.
“Finally I get a guy that’s a little shorter than me. The past couple have been against guys similar reach, so my distance management hasn’t really come into play,” Hooper said.
“So it’s going to be kind of seeing how well I’m able to handle this pressure. I like the fights where the guys bring the fight to me, as well. Obviously like the last two, where they tend to point fight a little more, seems to, with my style, not have been so straightforward. It’s so much easier when the guys actively trying to finish, he’s trying to actively bring the fight to you. It’s so much easier to kind of give that back.
“But yeah, it’s a good matchup. A little shorter. He’s pretty well-rounded, but I wouldn’t say that he’s like a specialist anywhere. He’s had a ton of fights, he’s a more veteran dude, and it’s going to be a test of my fight IQ to see if I can switch it up on him when I need to and deal with that pressure, and also get my own counters in and not let him leave the dance the whole time,” Hooper added.
Chase Hooper On Diego Sanchez
Well Chase Hooper represents the young guard in MMA, we saw one of the old dogs recently have a less-than graceful departure from the UFC. After making some baffling decisions with his coaching staff, Diego Sanchez was let go by the UFC, despite being one of the legends of the sport.
Chase explained that there’s definitely reason to be concerned about Diego, and his association with his coach Joshua Fabia. He even made comparisons to a fellow legends, in BJ Penn or Chuck Liddell.
“Yeah, it’s kind of like some of the BJ Penn stuff, or like Chuck Liddell… It’s just seeing some of these older fighters that are kind of going off the deep end, and it’s rough to watch,” Hooper said.
“I get that Diego’s always been kind of a weird guy, But it’s kind of getting to the BJ Penn levels where he’s getting in trouble with the law, he’s getting knocked out at the bars and stuff, it’s just kind of sad to watch. Hopefully somebody’s able to get through to him, and he doesn’t end up doing bare knuckle or something, and end up making what’s already kind of an issue worse.”
One example of the concerning behavior between Diego Sanchez and Joshua Fabia, came from a video that emerged of Diego hanging upside down while being struck by Joshua repeatedly. While this is apparently something that they do regularly, Chase Hooper seems to think that this is a bizarre training tactic.
“My immediate reaction was that he was kicking him way too hard for anything like that. I’m not going to let my buddies just kick me in the face for fun.
“I swear there was like an old school dude a long time ago, talking about how he would have his buddies punch him as hard as they could in his jaw, trying to train his jaw, that type of thing. But the science is kind of coming out, that that’s not the right way to do it, and it’s not beneficial for you at all. So yeah, I’m not in on that type of training yet.”
Chase Hooper returns to action at UFC 263, against Steven Peterson. It will be interesting to see how he performs in this matchup.