Report – Dan Hooker vs. Michael Chandler Targeted For UFC 257 On January 23rd.

Chandler
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari - Zuffa LLC & MMA Junkie

It seems former three-time Bellator MMA lightweight titleholder, Michael Chandler is finally in line for his highly-anticipated Octagon bow.

Signing a multi-fight deal with the Dana White led promotion following a ten-year stay with Scott Coker’s Bellator MMA, Chandler has along with Kiwi striking-ace, Dan ‘The Hangman’ Hooker verbally agreed to meet with a matchup at UFC 257 on January 23rd. from the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE currently targeted.

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In a potential return to ‘Fight Island’, Sanford MMA staple, Chandler travelled to the Middle East back in late October for UFC 254 — where he successfully made championship weight ahead of a possible backup requirement for the as scheduled lightweight title unification clash between incumbent best, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov, and former interim titleholder, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje.

Making two Octagon appearances this year, City Kickboxing standout, Hooker headlined UFC Vegas 4 in June most recently, dropping a hugely-entertaining unanimous decision defeat to former interim titleholder and possible fellow UFC 257 feature, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier. News of the targeted tie was first reported by Jackson Thomas from New Zealand website, Stuff

Riding a two-fight rise ahead of his Octagon debut, Missouri native, Chandler managed a second career victory over two-time foe and former UFC and WEC champion, Benson ‘Smooth’ Henderson in August at Bellator 243. 

At Bellator 237 in Saitama, Japan in late December last year, Chandler scored a first-round knockout win over Dana White’s Contender Series alum, Sidney Outlaw. 

Taking headlining honours for the first time in his promotional run, Hooker faced off with longtime lightweight contender, Paul ‘The Irish Dragon’ Felder at UFC Fight Night Auckland in February — making an Octagon appearance on home soil. Extending his winning streak to three-fights, Hooker managed a close split decision win. 

UFC 257 takes place on January 23rd. from the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE — with a high-stakes, potential lightweight title-eliminator between former opponents, the aforenoted, Poirier and former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor taking main event status. 

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