UFC Vegas 55: Chase Hooper Happy To Be First Fighter To Finish Felipe Corales

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Las Vegas, NV — Chase Hooper finished Felipe Corales at UFC Vegas 55 on Saturday, becoming the first fight to do so.

It seemed like a must-win fight for the 22-year-old Hooper, who was coming off a lopsided loss to Steven Peterson. Hooper showed up and showed out at the Apex, however, TKOing Corales in the third round.

Hooper (11-2-1) was violent and felt perfect going into his fight.

“Well, everything I’ve done for this fight camp, I’ve been like, ‘if this were to be my last fight ever, I want to do everything perfect.’ That was flying across the country to go train with Wonderboy twice this camp. You know, it’s getting those striking looks, getting the wrestling looks, really pushing the pace in the gym with my guys at Combat Sport and Fitness. Using the UFC PI for the dieting and just everything like just locked into place perfectly tonight,” Hooper told Cageside Press during his post-fight interview.  “My hand wraps felt perfect. [Brad] Tate wasn’t supposed to be on the list for people to wrap hands… Tate walks in, I’m like, ‘Oh, this is a good night. I love it.’ When he wraps my hands, he does a great job. The weight cut went easier than expected. The dieting went easier than expected. I felt fantastic in the warm-up.”

“Everything really locked in for me tonight. And, you know, it’s just hoping that happens every time and just knowing that even if it doesn’t, I still have this skill set. But that stuff just kind of further builds your confidence and your ability that things are moving in the right direction and to just kind of keep pressing forward. And that’s all I did. Just keep taking that step forward each time.”

Hooper handed Corales his second straight loss and became the first person to finish the Brazilian fighter. It was a good feeling, he shared.

“It’s always good, not even necessarily just to finish. It’s always nice to finish a guy that’s never been finished and to be able to attain that myself, but to be able to say that I have grappled against a really high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and I was able to win those exchanges,” Hooper said. “To feel like I was able to hang with him in the grappling really builds a lot of confidence when you’re from a small town Enumclaw, Washington. You know, not from some mega gym, I started with the same coach at eight that I’m here with today. So it feels good.”

UFC Vegas 55 was Hooper’s first time fighting on a UFC Fight Night. His past four fights have all been held on pay-per-view. That didn’t faze “The Dream” he doesn’t care where he fights on the card or if it’s a big PPV.

“I really liked these UFC Apex shows. They’re so mellow, you know, being one of the first flights too, I could care less. The nice thing is with these fight nights, it gives you a better chance for a bonus. I try not to put too much stock into it,” Hooper said. “I’m just taking the fights as they come. I’d fight if there were 100,000 people watching, I’d fight if there were 100 people watching, I’d fight if it was just Dana [White] watching. I just feel like I’m kind of leveling up in the mental aspect of it. And, you know, not letting that stuff bother me too much.”

Hooper was right; there was a better chance of him getting a bonus, as he ended up getting a Performance of the Night.

Watch the rest of Chase Hooper’s post-fight media appearance above. More coverage from the event can be found below.

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