UFC 257 Results: Michael Chandler Lives Up to Expectations, KO’s Dan Hooker

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Michael Chandler and Dan Hooker, UFC 257
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 23: (R-L) Michael Chandler punches Dan Hooker of New Zealand in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Michael Chandler needed all of one round to prove that he’s one of the best lightweights in the world, knocking out Dan Hooker in the co-main event of UFC 257.

There has been, arguably, no other Bellator star who has crossed over to the UFC with as much fanfare as Michael Chandler.

Chandler, at long last, made his arrival at UFC 257 on Saturday, taking on Dan Hooker in the co-main event of the Abu Dhabi card.

Win or lose, Chandler has been a bonus for the UFC already. He served as a back-up for the Khabib vs. Gaethje fight at UFC 254, weighing in successfully at the championship limit despite his services ultimately not being required.

He’s also had fans talking. A lot. Plenty of Bellator champs have made the jump before, to differing levels of success. Ben Askren was the promotion’s red-headed stepchild, shown the door unceremoniously and left to ply his trade in ONE before finally coming to the UFC a little too late to make a real impact (Jorge Masvidal’s knee, on the other hand, made a tremendous impact on “Funky.”). Eddie Alvarez obviously found success, but that fizzled quickly thanks to some guy named McGregor, and Alvarez had already made a name for himself prior to Bellator anyway. Will Brooks and Hector Lombard fizzled quickly (and in the case of Lombard, quite badly).

But Chandler? Chandler was looked at more in the Alvarez mold, if not more so. A legit title hopeful. Someone who could make an impact. Of course, Saturday night, Dan Hooker would have something to say about that. But in the end, that didn’t matter.

Chandler opened up fast. Like an animal stalking his prey he was chasing Hooker around the octagon. Hooker decided to counter with some calf kicks that were landing clean on Chandler and began to slow him down. Chandler began throwing some shots to the body, and eventually, Hooker began biting on those shots. Chandler landed a hard right hand to the mid-section, followed by a left hook upstairs that put Hooker down hard. Chandler followed up with a few follow-up strikes and that’s all she wrote. A first-round knockout for “Iron” Mike. A stunning debut.

After the bout, Chandler cut a blistering promo, putting both Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor on notice. Then, turning his attention to champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, he stated that if Khabib was to grace the UFC with his presence again, he’d have to beat someone to go 30-0 — and it should be him. “So beat me — if you can!”

Official Result: Michael Chandler def. Dan Hooker by TKO, Round 1, 2:30

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