Dan Hooker plans to “spoil” the UFC and Michael Chandler’s plans with a “statement” win

Dan Hooker

Dan Hooker plans to ruin the UFC and Michael Chandler’s plans just one-fight into his UFC tenure.

In the co-main event of UFC 257, Hooker is set to welcome Michael Chandler to the UFC in a really intriguing bout. Although many top lightweights weren’t wanting to fight Chandler in his debut, Hooker knew it was a chance to steal some of his hype.

“It seems to kind of be my thing, it is what I do. I want to fight the best guys and compete against the best,” Hooker said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I feel like Chandler is one of the best guys, I feel like the hype behind him is definitely warranted. He has competed at the top of Bellator’s lightweight division so that hype is warranted. The UFC putting him as the backup for the title fight show how much stock they put in him as well. That is why I was excited about it, the fans are excited to see Michael Chandler and they are excited to see him compete against one of the best guys in the division. I’m happy to answer their call.”

When the UFC signed Chandler, they made him a backup for the lightweight title fight at UFC 254. Hooker took notice of that and believes the UFC wanted to set Chandler up with a debut win, however, the Kiwi plans to spoil those plans.

“That is probably why they were trying to get him someone else to fight. You can look at it one or two ways, that is the way I look at it,” Hooker explained. “Stylistically, he said it himself, and I feel the same way, he matches up great with Gaethje, he matches up great with a guy like Poirier as well. I feel like it is a good stylistically matchup for me. Dana spent boatloads of money to get this guy over to the UFC and I will spoil the party. It is a massive opportunity for me to go out there and make a statement in front of a whole new fanbase.”

After watching some of Chandler’s past couple of fights, Hooker knows the former Bellator lightweight champion will look to take him down early and often. However, the Kiwi knows people shooting in for takedowns plays perfectly into his gameplan of landing the knees.

“He is game. He will come to me and will try and push the fight and that is what I love. If he is going to come to me, he will start shooting takedowns. That will play right into my hand,” Hooker said. “He mixes things up really well. It is one thing to say it and a whole different thing to do that. That is something I’ve dealt with my entire career, shorter guys trying to duck under me and take me down. Against those types of fighters that is when I do my best work.”

Entering the fight, Dan Hooker is also coming off a loss and has never lost two in a row since his fifth and sixth professional fight. He knows he fights best when his back is against the wall and believes that is the case here.

“It shows that whenever I take a loss it brings the best out of me. I feel like my back is up against the wall. I just know how cutthroat this sport is. You lose back-to-back and you are now fighting for your job. That is the position I am in. My back is against the wall and that seems to bring the best out of me.”

In the end, if Dan Hooker gets his hand raised, he is confident the win would put him in title contention.

“They put him in as the backup for the title. I beat him and I take that spot,” Hooker concluded. “Me beating him puts me in title contention.”

Who do you think will win, Dan Hooker or Michael Chandler?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM