Michael Chandler to fight Dan Hooker at UFC 257 - TheMacLife

Michael Chandler to fight Dan Hooker at UFC 257

Former Bellator champ Michael Chandler will make his UFC debut in less than three weeks.

By John Balfe - 4 Jan 2021

Former Bellator champ Michael Chandler’s first Octagon assignment has been set.

The recent addition to the UFC’s lightweight roster will fight the 6th-ranked Dan Hooker on the undercard to this month’s rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. This comes following a report by ESPN, via MMA Fighting.

Chandler, who signed with the UFC last year following the expiration of his Bellator deal, had been tasked with being a back-up fighter for the recent world title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje but his services were ultimately not required despite Chandler making weight on the eve of the event.

Chandler had targeted January as the ideal time for his first fight with the company and has been participating in a training camp with that potential debut date in mind. The UFC had also explored the possibility of pairing Chandler with Gaethje on the January 23 card. The UFC also made moves to book Chandler against surging lightweight Charles Oliveira but the Brazilian was reported to be concerned about making weight on relatively short notice.

Hooker, meanwhile, will be looking to re-establish his title credentials after losing a decision to Dustin Poirier in a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender last summer. Prior to that, the New Zealand native had wracked off wins against Paul Felder, Al Iaquinta and James Vick.

While not officially confirmed, the Chandler vs. Hooker fight will likely fill the role as a back-up to the two men in the UFC 257 headliner, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

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