clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Michael Chandler vs Dan Hooker official for UFC 257 on Jan. 23

New, comments

The Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier-led card now has a killer co-main featuring two more of the best lightweights in the world.

Bellator 192: Lima v MacDonald Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

It’s official: Bellator MMA import Michael Chandler will make his Octagon debut against No. 5-ranked Lightweight, Dan Hooker, in the co-main event of UFC 257 on Jan. 23, 2021.

The bout, which has been in the works since Dec. 22, 2020, was unofficially confirmed by Dana White during an interview with nasally newshound “The Schmo” two days ago. Now, the company has caught up with its president and promotion of the 155-pound fight can begin.

The bout adds some much needed fire to the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier-led undercard, which was previously lacking much in the ways of star power or important ranked fights. Before Chandler vs. Hooker was announced, it was looking like a women’s Flyweight bout between Jessica Eye and Joanne Calderwood might serve as co-main, which ... jeez. When you’re jacking up the price of pay-per-view (PPV) events, it doesn’t help sooth fans to begin with such a thin undercard.

Chandler is a three-time Bellator Lightweight champion and was one of the promotion’s biggest stars for a decade, going toe-to-toe against the best at 155 pounds, including Patricky Freire, Eddie Alvarez, Akihiro Gono, Will Brooks and Benson Henderson. He departed the organization on a win, handing Henderson his second career knockout loss.

Hooker is just one of the hot fighters coming out of New Zealand’s City Kickboxing alongside fellow Oceanians Israel Adesanya, Alexander Volkanovski and Kai Kara-France. A “Fight of the Year” contender against Dustin Poirier snapped a four-fight win streak, but cemented his position among the elite of UFC’s Lightweight division. It will be a tough challenge for Chandler, but also a huge opportunity to step right into the Top 5 rankings with a big win.

And of course, with COVID-19 lurking in the background, there’s always a chance Chandler or Hooker could end up being moved up into the main event because of a positive test. But let’s hope that doesn’t happen. “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, certainly seems more secure than the questionable bubble maintained around UFC APEX, so once fighters arrive in Abu Dhabi we can start breathing easy.

Here’s the line up for UFC 257 as it stands:

  • Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Michael Chandler vs. Dan Hooker
  • Jessica Eye vs. Joanne Calderwood
  • Marina Rodriguez vs. Amanda Ribas
  • Khalil Rountree vs. Marcin Prachnio
  • Brad Tavares vs. Antonio Carlos Junior
  • Matt Frevola vs. Ottman Azaitar
  • Julianna Pena vs. Sara McMann
  • Shane Burgos vs. Hakeem Dawodu
  • Nasrat Haqparast vs. Arman Tsarykyan
  • Umar Nurmagomedov vs. Sergey Morozov
  • Andrew Sanchez vs. Makhmud Mruadov

For the latest news and info on UFC 257 click here.