Chase Hooper is glad to be making a relatively quick turnaround.
Back in May, Hooper returned to the win column with a TKO victory over Felipe Colares. The fight was his first in nearly a year which Hooper admits he doesn’t like. He will now be returning five months later which is a much better timeframe for him.
“This was pretty good, I feel like I need a little bit of time to let my body recover after fights,” Hooper said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “Obviously, between my last fight and the one before was 11 months which is way too long, so definitely happy to be getting back in there sooner and try to keep the momentum going forward.”
Although Hooper picked up a win last time out, he still wasn’t sure what was going to be next for him. He’s still just 23-years-old, so with that, he knows he won’t get a massive step up, yet when he got the offer to fight Steve Garcia at UFC Vegas 63 he was surprised.
“Honestly, we asked for a couple of guys and this is who they came back with,” Hooper explained. “It’s a fun matchup, it’s a similar situation where it’s a guy changing weight classes, so he wasn’t on my radar. I really like his style and it’s fun to fight a taller guy with a similar body type to mine.”
With Chase Hooper still being young in the game, though, he has taken it upon himself to travel down to South Carolina to work with Stephen Thompson to improve his striking.
Not only has he improved his striking, but a big part of his camp is wrestling as he knows if he can get the fight to the ground he will have a massive advantage.
“I get to work on the two sides of my game that I’m less experienced and less skilled with,” Hooper said. “Getting to go against these high-level strikers and wrestlers and build my fight IQ a little bit as I’m figuring out how to get the fight to where it benefits me.”
With Chase Hooper believing he’s getting better on the feet and getting the fight to the ground if need be, he has a ton of confidence against Garcia. Hooper believes he can mix things up which will leave openings and allow him to show off at UFC Vegas 63.
“I think the last fight I had a certain idea of how the fight would go. It’s just about trusting my instincts as in those split-second decisions I know I will make the right decision,” Hooper said. “It’s not worrying about what he’s going to do, just building that confidence. I think I will be able to show off, and hopefully, even more, than I did the last fight.”
Should Hooper show off as he plans to, he still isn’t sure what that does for him. Instead, he says the goal is to fight someone higher up and continue his climb near the rankings.
“I think from here I can start looking up at the division. Obviously, I think I need a couple more before I feel ready and the UFC feels ready to push me toward the ranked opponents. But, there is a higher tier of the unranked guys so it’s trying to move up to that,” Hooper concluded.
Do you think Chase Hooper will beat Steve Garcia at UFC Vegas 63?