UFC Vegas 82: Jordan Leavitt Hopes to Be Friends with “Really Polite Young Kid” Hooper After Fight

UFC Vegas 82 lightweight Jordan Leavitt had a high-profile match-up with Elves Brener follow through earlier year, and he’s not sure he wants it back.

“If the UFC gives it to me, I’ll take it. But I think he’s ranked higher than me, being on a two-knockout streak. If it happens, it happens, but I’m counting myself lucky,” joked Leavitt during this week’s UFC Vegas 82 media day. “So respect to him, he knocked out one of the most highly acclaimed prospects in the division, then he knocked out another guy in Brazil. So I mean, preferably not. But if it happens, I’m down, I won’t shy away from a challenge.”

What took him out of the Brener fight, scheduled for July, was an AC joint separation. “I couldn’t use my right hand, couldn’t grapple, and I was considering still fighting, but seeing Elves knocking people out, I think I got pretty lucky with that one,” stated Leavitt. “Because I wasn’t blocking that right hand, I couldn’t even get to my eyebrow.”

That said, Leavitt didn’t actually want to withdraw from the bout — him simply gave into pressure from those closest to him. “I really didn’t want to, my wife was just like ‘please don’t do this.'”

At UFC Vegas 82, Jordan Leavitt has been paired up with Chase Hooper, and he’s not sure what to make of the pairing.

“I still don’t have an answer for that question. This fight could be a sloppy, ugly, grappl-y thing, it could be a very tedious clinch fight. Or be really fun like grappling exchanges, and I’m not sure which one I want. Because we’re both clearly more dangerous in one position, but it’s each other’s strengths.”

Hooper is best known, of course, as a grappler, and Leavitt is no slouch there. He also has plenty of respect for the youngster.

“Really polite young kid. I have mixed feelings about it. But one thing about this sport, this career choice is that I’m always beating up my friends, and we do it every week,” said Leavitt. “So I can beat up an acquaintance for 15 minutes. Before the fights we’re business partners, for 15 minutes I’m going to hate you, ‘I’m trying to orphan your children,’ Sean Strickland-esque things, insert there, and then after the fight hopefully we can be friends. We’ll see.”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 82 media day appearance by Jordan Leavitt above.