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UFC 257: Michael Chandler vs. Dan Hooker lightweight fight now official for Jan. 23

Michael Chandler (left); Dan Hooker (right)
Michael Chandler (left); Dan Hooker (right)
Johny Payne
ANALYST
Modified 04 Jan 2021, 07:36 IST
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A lightweight bout between Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker has reportedly been made official for UFC 257. The UFC 257 event will occur on Fight Island, aka Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE, on January 23, 2021.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported this via Twitter. Okamoto noted that the delay in making this matchup official was due to a few last-minute logistical hurdles which had to be cleared. The hurdles have now seemingly been overcome, and the fight will take place at UFC 257.

Former three-time Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler’s signing with the UFC was announced in September of 2020. Chandler is on a two-fight winning streak, with his last fight being a first-round KO win over former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson in August of 2020.

On the other hand, Dan Hooker’s most recent fight was one of the best fights of 2020. Hooker faced fellow lightweight contender Dustin Poirier in June and lost the back-and-forth fight via unanimous decision.

As we’d previously reported, UFC president Dana White recently noted that the promotion was initially targeting a fight between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler.

Oliveira competed at UFC 256 on December 12, 2020. He purportedly couldn’t make weight for UFC 257 that takes place on January 23, 2021. White suggested that since Oliveira couldn’t make weight in such a quick turnaround, the UFC has been working towards booking Michael Chandler in a fight against Dan Hooker.

"We originally…I don’t know if this is done yet, but f**k it. We were working on Oliveira. Oliveira couldn’t make the weight, so Chandler will be fighting Hooker."

The UFC 257 lightweight bout against Dan Hooker will serve as Michael Chandler’s UFC debut. The UFC is yet to announce the Chandler vs. Hooker UFC 257 matchup officially.

Michael Chandler vs. Dan Hooker isn't the only high-profile lightweight bout at UFC 257

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Conor McGregor (left); Dustin Poirier (right)
Conor McGregor (left); Dustin Poirier (right)

UFC 257 will be headlined by a lightweight bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. This fight has serious title implications, as its winner could fight UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Alternatively, if Nurmagomedov chooses not to come out of retirement this year, the UFC would likely strip him of the lightweight title. In this case, the winner of McGregor vs. Poirier could fight either Charles Oliveira or the winner of the Michael Chandler vs. Dan Hooker fight for the vacant UFC lightweight title. 

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Who do you think will win between Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker? Sound off in the comments.

Published 04 Jan 2021, 07:36 IST
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