A card carrying member of the Askren family, one of MMA’s quirkiest in-jokes, Chase Hooper returned to the octagon at UFC 256. The former “Teenage Dream” was looking to bounce back from his first career loss, to Alex Caceres, and had been tasked with kicking off the show against Peter Barrett.
The read going into the card opener was that Hooper needed to get the fight to the ground, as Barrett, who was looking for his first win in the promotion, had the clear edge on the feet. And “Slippery Pete” showed that early. After pulling out of a Hooper takedown attempt, Barrett landed several punches down the middle. He also landed a kick below the belt, halting the action for the moment. Hooper would pay Barrett back in kind — inadvertent, but low — moments later. After action resumed, Hooper got the fight to the ground, but while he attacked a leg, there wasn’t enough time left to make anything happen.
Round two saw Barrett continue to hit home with his right hand. Hooper, however, managed to land a solid straight left. Hooper then took a couple of leg kicks that appeared to hurt him. His leg was already showing some damage, and another kick to that lead leg put him on his butt. Though he made it back up, Barrett continued to attack the leg. Then, in the coolest moment of the fight to that point, Hooper executed a perfect Imanari roll, locking Barrett up on the ground and attacking a leg. Barrett would fend off the submission attempts that followed, and cap off the round by landing his right hand, but Hooper proved he was game.
Chase Hooper likely needed a finish heading into the third. He dove into an Imanari roll again, tied Barrett up, and began landing punch after punch from the bottom. At the same time, Hooper worked to isolate a leg, and did just that — rolling over the sink in the heel hook. Slippery Pete wasn’t slippery enough, and unable to free his leg, was forced to tap. One incredible comeback from Chase Hooper.
— UFC (@ufc) December 13, 2020
Chase Hooper clearly needs to refine his stand-up game — but his heart, and skill on the ground, cannot be questioned.
Official Result: Chase Hooper def. Pete Barrett by submission (heel hook), Round 3, 3:02