Skip to Content

Michael Chandler: ‘Dan Hooker Was A Tougher Test’ Than Charles Oliveira

Michael Chandler breaks down his upcoming lightweight title fight with Charles Oliveira, and dispels rumors of a previous bout with Justin Gaethje

Michael Chandler: ‘Dan Hooker Was A Tougher Test’ Than Charles Oliveira

Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler is getting his crack at UFC gold, against Charles Oliveira. However he does not look at this as the toughest test of his long and lengthy career.

When he first came into the UFC, Chandler was set up for a chance of an immediate title shot, scheduled as a backup for a title fight. When that did not pan out, there were expectations that he would be close to the top of the pack, due to his established resume.

In the end, he would square off against the super durable Dan Hooker, making short work of the Kiwi by knocking him out in the first round. This opened the door for him to face off against Charles Oliveira for the newly vacated lightweight title.

Michael Chandler Knew Nothing Of A Justin Gaethje Fight

Before it was announced that Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira would be squaring up, it seemed like the former Bellator champ would be fighting Justin Gaethje. In fact, Gaethje expressed disappointment that this bout did not come together, feeling disrespected by the UFC.

However according to Mike, this was not a fight that was ever on the table for him. Speaking in a recent interview, he explained that this was not something that he was approached about, even though he heard the rumors.

“I saw the rumors hit the rumor mills on Twitter and Instagram and all that, that me and Gaethje were going to fight. I hadn’t heard anything necessarily from the UFC that this was going to happen,” Chandler said.

“Obviously, Gaethje’s always been a name that’s been on the other end of the phone when we’re talking to the UFC, for sure. But the May 15th date for me, was something that I was very interested in…

“All of a sudden, yeah everything changed whenever they called me and said out of the blue ‘Hey, vacant lightweight title, you and Charles Oliviera, and Khabib’s retiring for sure.’ Then I said absolutely, say no more. Tell me where to be, when to be there, and I’ll be there.”

Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier?

Initially it was thought that Dustin Poirier would be fighting for the vacant title, but instead he chose to pursue a trilogy fight with Conor McGregor. However Michael Chandler knows that the winner of that fight will likely be first in line for the winner of his fight with Oliveira.

After taking a look at how their second fight went, Mike feels like McGregor will be able to make the improvements to win this third fight, and face him should he win the belt. That said, he thinks that he would personally match up better against Dustin Poirier.

“I think it’s Conor… I think there’s a very few little things that Conor can do to win that fight. I think (I would defend the title against) Conor McGregor. I think it’s this fall or winter, but also that’s probably wishful thinking,” Chandler explained.

“If it’s Dustin Poirier, I’m excited about that opportunity as well. I think I match up better against Dustin Poirier than I do a lot of guys in the division. That’s why I called for that fight right away, and he said no, and Gaethje said no, and Ferguson said no. Every single one of these guys said no, but once I have the title everyone is going to say yes.”

Dan Hooker Was A Tougher Test For Michael Chandler

Some would argue that Charles Oliveira could be one of the hardest fights Michael Chandler has ever had. However he does not agree with that sentiment at all.

Although the bout ended quickly, Michael feels like Dan Hooker provided more of a test to his skills than Oliveira will. However make no mistake, he is not underestimating his upcoming opponent.

“I think Dan Hooker was a tougher test, and that’s not me predicting that I’m going to knock Oliveira out in two minutes because I knocked Hooker out in two and a half,” Chandler said.

“If you look at the past fights, you look at the Poirier vs Hooker fight, the Felder vs Hooker fight, I mean the guy is absolutely unbreakable. I was going to have to separate him from consciousness to beat him, and luckily I was able to do that.

“Charles Oliveira is not that. I think Charles Oliveira is a tough competitor, but I think Dan Hooker has a lot bigger and better attributes. I would say Dan Hooker is a tougher test, but that is not me looking past Charles Oliveira.”

With that said, the question then becomes how Chandler plans on getting past the Brazilian. He is predicting a finish in the first or second round of the bout, if everything goes his way.

In his opinion, Oliveira is a tough person, but has a tendency to quit in fights when they do not go his way. This is something that Michael plans to exploit when they face off, to get the finish when they fight.

“If you look at the Paul Felder fight, he tapped due to strikes. You look at numerous fights, he just kind of goes… if he can’t impose his will on you, there comes a point where he just looks at you and decides ‘Okay, you’ve won this one. I’m done. I’m going to go collect half a paycheck and I’m going to go home,'” Chandler said.

“I think there’s going to be a moment or multiple moments in this fight where he’s going to see it in my eyes, he’s going to feel the power that I possess, he’s going to feel that I only get better, and he’s on a fast journey straight down to panicking. I just think that’s going to happen.”

It will be interesting to see how the fight between Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira goes down. Whether or not you agree that they should be the ones fighting for the belt, this is a great matchup that promises fireworks.

For more MMA News, Rumors and Updates follow the Red Monster on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram
Jon Anik Francis Ngannou
Jon Anik Reveals How Jon Jones Can Beat Francis Ngannou, But Says Francis 'Deserves To Be The Favorite'
← Read Last Post
Vettori Holland
Darren Till Pulls Out With Injury, Kevin Holland Has Offered To Step In Against Marvin Vettori
Read Next Post →