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Michael Chandler is going to start ‘calling some shots’ with win over Dan Hooker at UFC 257

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UFC 254: Previews Photo by Juan Cardenas/Zuffa LLC

Michael Chandler will make his highly-anticipated Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut at UFC 257 on Jan. 23, 2021, taking on Dan Hooker on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. With a win, the former Bellator MMA Lightweight champion’s options will expand exponentially.

Indeed, Chandler has a lot on the line against “The Hangman,” including silencing all the naysayers who say he doesn’t have what it takes to bang with the big boys of UFC.

“Either way, there’s going to be a lot of clarity on Jan. 23 after these two fights happen, and then we kinda see what happens,” Chandler told MMA Junkie. “Obviously, I’ll be campaigning for a No. 1 contender fight, a title fight. I’ll be throwing my name in the hat to fight any of those guys. Either way, I’m just excited to be competing in the UFC. I’m excited to be competing with the guys that are the best in the world in the Lightweight division at 155 pounds.”

As it stands, Khabib Nurmagomedov is still the 155-pound champion and UFC President, Dana White, has gone on record saying that the winner of UFC 257’s main event fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will be the No. 1 contender. Should Khabib stick to his guns and stay retired, that means Hooker or Chandler could fill the other spot for the vacant strap.

But, we can’t forget about this guy.

Still, Chandler is looking for not only clarity, but also some leverage by making a splash in his Octagon debut. And if he has to fight once more before taking part in a title fight, he is more than ready.

“So, if I have to go out there and do my job against Dan Hooker, then I’ve got to do it again against someone else in order to get to that title shot, so be it. But either way, all roads lead to Jan. 23, and after that we’ll have a little bit more clarity. Then I can start calling some shots.”

Of course, Hooker is more than capable of spoiling Chandler’s plans as he has long been one of UFC’s toughest outs for both Lightweights and Welterweights.