Pre-fight Analysis

Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler Preview and Betting Odds

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At UFC 257 former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler will make his UFC debut against top ranked contender Dan Hooker. For ten years, Chandler had been exclusively fighting under the Bellator banner, but now that he’s signed to the UFC, he’s got his eyes on the coveted lightweight championship. Standing in his way is a ferocious striker with unwavering toughness who represents the most difficult task of Chandler’s career. Although Hooker is fighting an unranked fighter there is still plenty to be gained by defeating Chandler given his popularity and career accomplishments. A strong performance for the winner on a large pay per view will certainly place them on the short list of contenders for a shot at the belt.

Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler Betting Preview

Dan Hooker Breakdown

Fight Announcements

LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 07: Dan Hooker of New Zealand celebrates his victory after his lightweight fight during the UFC 226 event inside T-Mobile Arena on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Dan Hooker is a tall, rangy kickboxer with a devastating array of striking tools. The New Zealander has scored knockouts inside the octagon with punches, knees, elbows and a head kick. And if the opponent changes levels Hooker can threaten with a nasty guillotine, a submission he’s scored on two opponents in the UFC.

The Hangman’s route to victory against Chandler is to keep the fight standing, use his reach advantage and attack the legs. As a former pro kickboxer with significant height and reach over Chandler, he’s going to have a noticeable advantage on the feet. If Hooker can keep the former Bellator champion on the back foot and impose his striking then it’s his fight to lose. It’s worth mentioning that Chandler’s last three losses were due to strikes — Patricio Pitbull and Will Brooks stopped him with punches and Brent Primus compromised his leg with low kicks in their first fight. As a larger, more accomplished striker than those men, the chance of a knockout win for Hooker is promising.

Michael Chandler Breakdown

Michael Chandler

INGLEWOOD, CA – JANUARY 20: Michael Chandler Jr (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Goiti Yamauchi (blue gloves) in their Lightweight fight at Bellator 192 at The Forum on January 20, 2018 in Inglewood, California. Michael Chandler Jr won by unanimous decision. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Michael Chandler is a wrestle-boxer with fast hands and knockout power. A natural pressure fighter, Chandler does his best work when his opponent’s back is to the fence. From there he’ll look to uncork his blistering right hand or score with takedowns. In top position the All-American wrestler will land ground and pound and if the opponent tries to escape he’ll switch gears and threaten back takes and chokeholds.

Against Dan Hooker his most likely route to victory is decision via ground control. Chandler has power but Hooker has never been knocked out; his only loss by strikes was due to an ungodly amount of body kicks courtesy of Edson Barboza. And he hasn’t been submitted in close to a decade. With these doors likely closed it would appear Chandler’s success in this fight hinges on his ability to put Hooker on the mat and keep him there for the majority of their scheduled fifteen minute bout.

ODDS PERFORMANCE

For the first time in ten years Michael Chandler will be the betting underdog (+110), so a $100 bet on Chandler could net you a profit of $110. On average he’s been a 5:1 favorite throughout his Bellator career but now that he’s making his UFC debut against a top contender the oddsmakers are much less confident. His opponent Dan Hooker is a slight favorite (-140) which means you’d have to bet $140 in order to win $100 profit.

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